Skip to main content

Full text of "The Latter-day Prophet: Young People"

See other formats


1 1 



7t - " 

IN HI I \\ 


>ilj'. " V,,,' 

II,,, M. " 



mm ": J V i 8 

Tar ijf v lit - 


From Painting by L. A. Ramsey. 




History of Joseph Smith 






By George Q. Cannon & Sons Company 


In sending out this little work, the author hopes with 
all his heart that he has made interesting and instructive 
a subject that has been a source of inspiration to him. 
The book was called forth mainly by the need of the Sun- 
day Schools for such a publication. In many schools tht 
author's Life of Joseph Smith is being used, but that book 
was not written as a text-book for children. This little 
volume can be put to such a use, and can be placed in the 
hands of the children themselves. Teachers may gather 
new material to give them from any source they desire, 
but the children have a foundation furnished here. 

In this book there may be words that a child of ten 
or twelve years will not understand; but a child's vocabu- 
lary would never grow if he met no new words. However, 
the author believes there are few if any places where an 
intelligent child cannot gather the meaning from the con- 
text. The work is purposely arranged in forty chapters, 
as that is the number of Sundays, fast-days excluded, in 
the year; but if possible, a little time once a month should 
be given to review work. Special attention is called to the 
chapter headings, which may be used as the topics on 
which different members of the class may prepare to talk. 
The maps and illustrations will be found valuable in aid- 
ing the child's understanding. While these suggestions 
apply to the use of this volume as a text-book, it has also 
been the aim to have the history suitable for general read- 
ing as well. 

It has been the author's desire through life to aid in 
giving the young Latter-day Saints so much that is good 
and pure in literature that they will have no excuse for 
reading that which is trashy or improper. Good books, 
if not the strongest outside influence, are at least very 
strong in the building of character. The story of life upon 
the earth is beautiful, and has absorbing interest if that 
life is natural, that is, in harmony with the will of our 
Father in Heaven. The real experiences of a bold mis- 
sionary of Truth should be and are of the highest interest 
to all right-minded "Mormon" children of either sex. 


Hence the author has seen fit to regard this little work as 
the beginning of a series of biographies of the Presidents 
of the Church, which he has under contemplation. He be- 
lieves that the data of the history of the Church can be 
given as completely in the lives of the men who have led 
it as in any other way. There are some additional ad- 
vantages: a biography has greater unity and consequently 
children can grasp it better; they obtain a deeper under- 
standing, too, of the Church and its principles, when they 
see the life-history and growth of a man under the influ- 
ence of the Gospel; and they become intimately acquainted 
with the noblest characters that have ever lived upon the 
earth. Besides this, the history of the Church is divided 
into periods that correspond with the time that each man 
has been President. Each may almost be considered an 
epoch. The Church was organized and its members grew 
to be a strong people in the life of Joseph Smith; they 
became pioneers and colonizers in the life of Brigham 
Young; John Taylor's presidency was marked by the dark 
struggles which threatened the very existence of the 
Church itself. Wilford Woodruff's by the wonderful prog- 
ress of the Saints when given liberty. Loren.zo Snow's 
already promises to mark a new and eventful period. 

The Latter-day Prophet is now sent forth, with the 
fervent prayer that it may create in the hearts of the 
children of Zion a great love for the man who made of 
human life a thing so nearly divine, and help them to go 
gravely forward with the work he was chosen to begin. 

The Author. 




Birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith — His Ancestors — 
Removal to New York State — A Religious Revival 9 

Joseph Inclined to Think Seriously upon Religion — Un- 
decided as to which Church to Join — Gets Light from 
The Bible — His First Prayer — Answered by a Glorious 
Vision 12 


How th e Arrrmnt nf TTtg vj pion was Received — His 

ii'lirlher inquiry for Light — Another vision 15 

The Morning Vision — Joseph Tells His Father — Visits 
Cumorah — The Plates Found — Moroni's Command 18 

The Four Years of Waiting — Joseph Works in Pennsyl- 
vania — Marriage — The Last Visit to the Hill — Outruns 
the Robbers 21 


^Persecution — Martin Harris Comes to Joseph's Aid — 
Anthon Fulfils a Prophecy — Martin Becomes Scribe — 
Strange Book-Writers . .• 24 


Martin Harris Impatient — The Manuscript Lost — God's \j{y^\^C 
Wisdom Shown — Joseph Repents — Slow Progress of ^ 
Translation^ .T .". . . 27 

Oliver Cowdery Becomes Scribe — Joseph and Oliver Pray 
for New Light — The Priesthood Restored — The First 
Baptisms — Kindness of Joseph Knight 30 

David Whitmer Takes the Prophet to Fayette — Many 
Believe and are Baptized — Eleven Witnesses See the 
Plates and Bear Record — The Higher Priesthood Re- 
stored — The Translation Finished 34 

■t^o pi-.nvr.Ti QT-p ranized — Joseph Accepted as Leader — The 
Holy Ghost Conferred — Joseph Casts the Devil from 
Newel Knight — The First Conference 3? 



Baptisms at Colesville — Joseph Arrested — Davidson and 
Reid on the Defense — Suffering Like the Master — Nar- 
row Escape from Mobs 43 


Fighting the Evil One — The Mob Blinded — President 
Alone to Receive Revelation for the Church — First 
Missionary Movement — "Working in the West 49 

The Westward Move Begins — Kirtland — The High Priest- 
hood Conferred — Joseph Goes to Missouri — Zion Dedi- 
cated 53 

The Two Stakes — Joseph Lives at Hiram — McLellin Tries 
to Write a Revelation and Fails — The Apostate Booth 
Stirs up Hatred — Joseph Tarred and Feathered 58 

The Visit to Missouri — Joseph Poisoned — Brigham Young 
and Heber C. Kimball Come to Kirtland — Prophecy of 
Civil War — First Presidency Organized G3 

Trouble Begins in Missouri — The Elders Pray, the Mob 
Gets Drunk — July Mob Destroys Printing Office and 
Tar and Feather the Brethren — The Saints Promise to 
Leave — Appeal to Governor 68 

The Missouri Saints Hire Lawyers and the Mob Forms — 
Night Attack on Big Blue Branch — Two Days of Cruel- 
ty and Plunder — The Battle— Saints Give Up Arms 73 


New Struggle of Old War — Mob Turned Loose on Saints 
— The Terrible Driving — Appeals to Dunklin and Jack- 
son — Mob and Saints Hold Conference 7S 


Foundation of the Kirtland Temple Laid — Joseph Goes 
on Mission to Canada — First High Council Formed — 
Zion's Camp Gathered — Wilford Woodruff a Member. . . 83 


Zion's Camp on the Way — Miracle of Bringing Forth 
Water — Zelph, the White Lamanite — Rebellion in the 
Camp — Stop for the Night on Fishing River — Camp- 
bell's Threat — The Mob Aroused 87 



The Terrible Tempest on Fishing River — Visit of Col. 
Sconce — Cholera in Camp — Joseph Smitten — Sidney Gil- 
bert's Death — Prophet Visits Zion 92 


A Time of Peace Begins — Building the Temple at Kirt- 
land — The Twelve Apostles Chosen — First Quorum of 
Seventy Organized — Joseph Translates Pearl of Great 
Price — William Smith's Sin 99 

The Prophet's Growth in Knowledge — Glorious Visions in 
the Temple — Dedication — Keys of this Dispensation 
Conferred — Elders go out to Preach 104 

The Saints in Clay County — Citizens Ask them to Leave — 
Caldwell County Formed — John Taylor — Lorenzo Snow 
— Willard Richards ; 110 

The Spirit of Speculation — Kirtland Society Begins and 
Fails — Many Apostatize — The English Mission Opened 
—Satan Strikes Heber C. Kimball, but Fails to Stop the 
Work 115 

Joseph Visits Canada — Carries Sidney Through Swamps 
to Escape Mob — Men Fall from High Places — Prophet 
Escapes to Missouri — David Whitmer and Oliver Cow- 
dery Cut off the Church 119 


The Last Missouri Persecution Begins — Fifteen Brave 
Men Defeat One Hundred and Fifty Cowards — Pennis- 
ton and Black Swear Falsehoods — Joseph and Lyman 

Wight Put Under Bonds — Mob Gathers 123 


Mob Attacks De Witt — Joseph Tries in Vain to Save the 
Town — Mob Driven Away from Adam-ondi-Ahman — 
Apostle Patten Killed in Battle of Crooked River — 
Extermination Begins at Haun's Mill — Alma Smith's 

Wound and His Mother's Faith 127 


Hinkle Betrays Joseph and Brethren to Mob-Militia — 
Court-Martial Orders Them to be Shot — Soldiers "Sack 
Far West — Joseph Preaches in Independence — Brethren 
taken to Richmond for Trial — Clark Finishes Terrible 
Work at Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman — Mock Trial 

and Imprisonment 132 


Petition the Legislature for. Justice — John Taylor and 
John E. Page Ordained Apostles — -Preparations to 
Leave Missouri — Treatment of Joseph and His Fellow- 
Prisoners — Illinois the Next Gathering Place of the 
Saints 137 



PAG 5 " 

Prisoners in Liberty Jail Seek their Liberty — Taken to 
Gallatin for Trial — Ordered to be Taken to Boone 
County — Their Escape from the Guards — Conference at 
Far West — A Prophecy Fulfilled — Last of the Saints 

Leave Missouri 142 


Saints Locate at Commerce, Afterwards Called Nauvoo — 
An Unhealthy Place — A Day of Miraculous Healings — 
Apostles Sent Out upon Missions to England — Their 

Labors in that Land 147 


Joseph and Companions Depart for the National Capital 
— The Prophet's Act of Heroism — Visits President Van 
Euren — The Latter's Cowardice — Apostle Hyde's Mis- 
sion to Jerusalem — Boggs' Demand for the Prophet and 
His Brethren — Death of the Prophet's Father — Nauvoo 
Chartered as a City — Nauvoo University and Legion... 152 

Carlin Sends Out the Old Order for Arrest — Joseph Nurses 
the Sheriff — The Trial — Don Carlos Smith Dies — Visit 
from Sac and Fox Indians — Baptism for Dead Begun — 

First Relief Society Organized 157 


Bennett's Plots to Destroy the Prophet — A Prophecy — 
Joseph Charged with Being an Accessory to the At- 
tempted Assassination of Boggs— His Arrest and Trial 

— Set at Liberty 161 


A Bloody War Predicted — The Prophet's Interview with 
Stephen A. Douglas — A Prophecy — The Celestial Order 
of Marriage — Joseph Kidnapped and Abused — He En- 
tertains the Men who Sought to Take His Life 166 


The Prophet a Model of Perfect Manhood — Apostasy of 
Men Who Had Been His Friends — Christmas Day — The 
Prophet a Candidate for the Presidency of the United 
States — Prediction Concerning the Saints—The Work 

of His Enemies 172 


The Plot of an Apostate — The Publication of the Nauvoo 
"Expositor" — Declared a Nuisance and Abated as Such 
— Joseph's Last Public Speech—He and His Brother 
Hyrum Leave Nauvoo — Return to the City — "I am Go- 
ing Like a Lamb to the Slaughter". . . 176 


Under the Governor's Pledge of Protection Joseph and 
His Brethren go to Carthage — Arrested and Impris- 
oned — Occurrences at Carthage — Plot to Murder the 
Prophet — Governor Ford's Cowardice and Treachery. . . 181 

The Prisoners in Carthage Jail — Surrounded by a Mob 
with Painted Faces — The Martyrdom— The Return to 
Nauvoo — Funeral and Burial — Conclusion 187 

The Latter-day Prophet. 





T was two days before Christmas in the year eighteen 
- hundred and five, and cold winter had already set in. 
The Green Mountains of Vermont were white with the 
snow that had fallen, and now it lay also in the valleys 
and upon the level land. It was the season when men 
celebrate the birth of our Savior, and they felt in their 
hearts the gladness and peace that come with Christ- 
mas tide. 

Twenty miles east of the Green Mountains, on the 
White River, a branch of the Connecticut, lies the little 
town of Sharon. To a humble family living there, came 
additional joy that day. A son was born, and, though 
they knew it not, he was destined to be very great. He 
was not the first-born, two sons and a daughter had 


come before ; but none the less did his parents welcome 
him. They gave him his father's name — Joseph Smith 
— a good name and never tarnished by an evil deed, but 
one to be known for both good and evil through all 
the world. 

The boy came of goodly parentage. The Smiths, 
since Robert and Mary settled in Essex, Massachusetts, 
a century and a half before, had been honorable farmers. 
Lucy Mack, the mother, was also of a family of indus- 
trious land-owners. Members of both families had 
fought for their country. The father and mother of 
the boy, Joseph* and Lucy, when they were married in 
1796, and for a few years afterward, had been well-to- 
do, but had lost all in paying the debts brought upon 
them by the fraud of a trusted agent. They had left 
their home in Tunbridge, Vermont, and moved to 
Sharon in the adjoining county of Windsor. Here the 
father farmed in the summer and taught school in the 
winter. But little success came as the reward of- his 
industry. He tried other places and at length, in the 
year 1815, he left the Green Mountain state entirely 
and moved his family to New York. 

It seems as though the Lord must have had a hand 
in the misfortunes of Joseph Smith, Senior, and his 
wife Lucy. He was teaching them and their children 
humility. They all had their share of hard work and 
of the sacrifices that poverty brings. But hard work 
strengthened their bodies, and sacrifice strengthened 
their souls. They had no time to dream away their 
lives. They were taught rather to be industrious and 
to do their duty. 

The father was a large, vigorous man, and the 
younger Joseph and his brothers inherited his strength. 
Thev worked at his side in the fields and helped him 
provide for the family wants. He taught them while 



at work, and when at rest by the fireside, to be truthful, 
honest and virtuous, and to love God. He gave them 
also lessons in reading and writing, but they had no 
such chance to learn these things as have children 

The Lord doubtless directed the family in their 
journey westward to ^ New Yo rk. It was there that His 
latter-day work must begin. Joseph, the instrument of 
that work, was nine years old at the time. The family 
first came to Palmyra, Wayne County, a little town 
lying twelve miles south of Lake Ontario. Here for 
about four years they labored in clearing the land and 
making themselves a home. Then they moved a mile 
or two south to Manchester, Ontario County, and took 
up land for a farm. There were now eight children in 
the family : Alvin, Hyrum, Sophronia, Joseph, Samuel, 
William, Catherine and Don Carlos. 

In the second year after they had come to JJVTan-, 
Cheste r the Methodists of that region began a religious 
revival. Th? J r'resTyvterians- and Baptists soon joined. 
A revival is caused by holding frequent meetings where 
those who attend preach, sing and pray, and try by all 
means to stir up religious enthusiasm. Sometimes they 
go to great extremes, and scream and groan and dance 
until nearly exhausted. These actions are of course not 
directed by the Spirit of the Lord. In Manchester there 
was g reat excitement and many were converted, or at 
leasl: joined themselves with one or other of the sects. 
As the people began to divide up, much strife arose, and 
so much bad feeling was shown that one could hardly 
believe they were true followers of Jesus. 





JOSEPH was fourteen years old at the time of the 
revival. He was large for his age and inclined to 
be serious in his thoughts. With the other members of 
his family he took great interest in religion, and felt it 
his duty to join some church and thereby be saved. 
But which church should he join? That was very hard 
for the boy to answer. The other members of the 
family decided that the Presbyterians were right, and 
the mother, with Hyrum, Samuel, and Sophronia joined 
their church. This made Joseph very uneasy, because 
he was inclined to believe with the Methodists, and the 
feeling between these two sects was very bitter. 

His mind became greatly excited sometimes, for he 
felt that he ought to do something to gain salvation, and 
yet he could not decide what was right to do. He felt 
sure that all the churches could not be true, for if they 
were they would unite to help each other instead of try- 
ing to do each other harm. He thought that he should 
not join any church until he knew the right one, and so 
he waited. 

Joseph was only fourteen years old and did not 
have a good education, but he could read the Bible and 
could understand many of the truths written there. He 
made a practice of comparing the teachings of the min- 
isters that were seeking to convert him with the teach- 


ings of Jesus and His Apostles. This made him all 
the more doubtful, for he saw that they did not entirely 

He was certainly in great difficulty, but he per- 
severed and at last found a way out. In his Bible he 
came upon a passage that was written for him and for 
all who need light. It is the first chapter of the Apostle 
James' epistle to the Saints, the fifth verse: "If any 
of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth 
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not ; and it shall be 
given him." Those words sank deep into his heart. 
He thought them over again and again, and at length 
made up his mind to obey them and pray for wisdom. 
In the sixth and seventh verses James tells that we 
must not waver if we wish to receive anything from the 
Lord. Joseph probably read these verses, too, for when 
he made up his mind to seek wisdom he was full of 
hope that the Lord would hear him. 

It was morning, early in the spring of 1820. The 
sky was clear, the air cool and refreshing, and all was 
beautiful. Green woods surrounded the home of Joseph, 
and to them he took his way alone. He found a suit- 
able spot and looked around to make sure that nq one 
was near. Then he kneeled down, and for the first 
time in his life sought the Lord in vocal prayer. 

He had barely begun when an unseen power seized 
him and made him speechless. All grew frightfully 
dark, and he felt as though he were about to be de- 
stroyed. He realized that it was the awful power of 
the evil one, and he called on God to save him. But 
his strength was fast giving way and sickening despair 
was taking possession of him, when a pillar of divine 
light appeared above him and the prince of darkness 

The light descended, and within it Joseph beheld 


two radiant beings, too glorious and beautiful to be de- 
scribed. They looked just alike to him and appeared 
to have equal splendor and authority, until one of them, 
pointing to the other, said, "J oseph j this is my Be- 
loved Son, hear Him/' 

The humble boy was almost overcome by the glory 
of the vision .before him, and he could not at once con- 
tinue his prayer for light. But the kindliness and love 
of the Father and of the Lord Jesus gave him assur- 
ance and he was at length able to speak. He asked 
which church was right that he might join it, and even 
in the glory of the vision he was surprised, for the 
divine instruction came that all were wrong. 

Jesus said that all their creeds were an abomina- 
tion in His sight; that those professors were all cor- 
rupt; they drew near Him with their lips, but their 
hearts were far from Him ; they taught for doctrine the 
commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but 
they denied the power thereof. He told Joseph that 
he should join none of them, but at some future time 
the true Gospel would be revealed to him. Other 
words of comfort and wisdom were spoken, and then 
the vision withdrew. 

When Joseph came to himself he was lying on the 
ground looking up into heaven. He was filled with a 
spirit of peace and joy, for now he knew that he would 
yet be taught how he might save his soul. He knew 
that God and Jesus were living beings with bodies 
which his own resembled. He knew that they sym- 
pathized with him, and loved him, and oh, how in- 
tensely did he love them ! He rose and returned home 
feeling that he had a glad message for mankind, which 
they would rejoice to hear. 




F PR many centuries no person on earth had asse rted 
t HaThe had seen and spoken with heavenly being s. 
People had almost forgotten that visions and the m in- 
istering ot angels had any part in human life When 
a cguntry -b i ed Ud de clared that he had been visited by 
our Father in heaven and His Son Jesus, the Creators 
of this earth and its inhabitants, the people were aston- 
ished . Without thinking of the matter seriously or 
seeking to find a cause for such bold words, jthey im - 
mediately set them down as fa lse, though the boy be- 
fore this had been known to be honest and truthful. 

Some that heard his words feared they might be 
true, and since they did not love the truth, sought to 
destroy it by ridicule and persecution. A Methodist 
minister, who had taken much interest in Joseph on- ac- 
count of his earnestness, was one of the first to whom 
the boy gave an account of what he had seen. This 
man must have had less faith in God's power than in 
Satan's, for he told Joseph that the vision was from 
th£_cieyil. He said that since the Apostles there had 
been no revelations fr om G od ; t hes e thinr s f i nd c^ f^r^fr- 

Joseph knew that he had seen a glorious vision. 
He c ould not deny it, for in doing- so he ktipw hp ivonld 
grievousTy~orrend Go d. Though only a boy he was 
reviled and persecuted by all classes of men. The min- 
isters of the different churches sought especially to 


make life bitter for him, and the members of his family 
suffered with him. Joseph's pious friends of form er. 
jdays_ beca me his enemies a nd he had to seek new asso- 
ciations. hLe says that these were sometimes not the 
best company, and he fell into many foolish errors. 

Three and a half years passed, r.nd Joseph was 
nearly eighteen years old. The thought began to grow 
in his mind that he ought to learn how he stood before 
the Lord. He had often felt sorry for his wrong doing 
and wished to seek forgiveness. The summer of 1823 
had closed and autumn had begun when Joseph de- 
cided that he would again ask for light. On the eve- 
ning of the 21st of vSeptember, after he had gone to bed, 
he began to pray. He felt certain that an answer would 
come, for the prayer was from his heart. He had not 
finished before the darkness began to disappear. The 
humble bed-chamber was soon ablaze with wondrous 
light, and in the midst he saw an angel. 

The form of the messenger was that of a tall and 
stately man. His head and neck were bare, and a 
graceful robe of lustrous white hung nearly to his naked 
ankles. The majesty of his form was increased by the 
exquisite beauty of his face, which shone like lightning. 
He stood near the bed-side but touched neither ceiling, 
walls nor floor. It was a spiritual sight; nothing on 
earth could approach it. 

When Joseph's momentary fear had passed away, 
the angel, calling him by name, began his message. 
He said that he was Moroni, and that he had been sent 
from the presence of God. He told Joseph that his 
sins were forgiven and that God had a great work for 
him to do. This work would cause his name to be 
known for good or for evil among all nations, kindreds 
and tongues. He spoke of a record engraved on plates 
of gold and hidden in a nearby hill, that gave the his- 


tory of the former inhabitants of this land and con- 
tained the fullness of the Gospel. He described the 
Urim and Thummim — those two strange, transparent 
stones set in silver bows and fastened to a golden 
breastplate — and said that God had prepared them to 
be used in translating the record. 

Then the heavenly visitor began quoting from the 
ancient prophets and apostles passages that referred to 
the last days, when the Priesthood was to be restored, 
the Holy Spirit to be poured out on all flesh, and peace 
and love were to reign on earth. Some he quoted just 
as they are in the Bible, but he changed others, making 
them more plain. He told Joseph of things that the 
boy could not mention afterward, because they were 
too holy. He commanded him not to show the plates, 
Urim and Thummim or breastplate, when he received 
them, to any person except when commanded to do so 
by the Lord. The vision of the hill was opened to 
Joseph's mind, while the angel spoke, and he distinctly 
saw just where the record was hidden. 

Then the light withdrew from other parts of the 
room, but became more bright about the messenger and 
extended in a glowing path up into heaven. Thither 
he ascended, darkness returned, and Joseph was left 
to wonder and rejoice. Soon the light appeared again 
and the vision was repeated just as before. Moroni 
added a prophecy of the terrible judgments that were 
coming on earth, of hunger, bloodshed and disease, and 
once more he rose heavenward. It seemed necessary 
that Joseph should be deeply impressed with the mes- 
sage, and for the third time it was given him. Each 
part was gone over with the same care as when given 
first. The last words of the angel were a caution that 
he should never use the plates, when he received them, 
except to glorify God and build up His Kingdom. 


The vision closed, and almost immediately the 
cocks began to crow. Soon the autumn morning 
dawned, and though Joseph had not closed his eyes in 
sleep, he arose to begin the labors of the day. 




JOSEPH went to work with his father that morning 
as if nothing had happened. He did not speak of 
the vision, though that doubtless was uppermost in his 
mind. Perhaps he thought that new persecution might 
be aroused and he would not spread the news of this 
visit of a heavenly being unless necessary. He could 
not work with his usual vigor, however, for his strength 
seemed to be gone. His father noticed that he was un- 
well and sent him home. Joseph set out, but in trying 
to cross the fence around the field he fainted and fell 
to the ground. 

When he became conscious, the angel Moroni in 
glory was again* at his side, and for the fourth time the 
entire vision was passed over. The angel then directed 
Joseph to go and tell his father all that had happened, 
and disappeared. Joseph returned and did so. 

The father was probably much surprised to hear of 
the angel's visits and of his message. He had little 
dreamed that at the surface of the high hill within his 


sight were hidden sacred objects of priceless value, that 
among them were writings which the wisest men could 
but imperfectly understand, and that his unlearned son 
should be the guardian of these and by the power of 
God was to bring forth a perfect translation of them. 
But the father knew his boy and believed him. The in- 
spiration of the Holy Spirit rested on him and he told 
Joseph that the vision was of % God and that he should 
go and do as the angel had commanded him. 

Joseph's strength returned somewhat and he set 
out for the hill to find the sacred record. The distance 
was only two and a half miles, so that the walk was not 
very long, but on the way he was sorely tempted to take 
the plates and use them for himself. The promptings 
of the Holy Spirit were still with him, however, and he 
overcame this evil thought. 

On the west side of the hill, near the summit, he 
found the rounded top of a stone above the ground, and 
when he dug away the earth he saw that it was the 
cover of the box. This stone was somewhat in the shape 
of a shield with the outside upward, and when the earth 
covered the edges it looked like the top of an ordinary 
bowlder. Joseph had seen this exact spot in his vision 
and did not doubt that he would find the plates below, 
but his heart beat fast when he put his lever under and 
began to pry up the cover. He raised it without great 
difficulty and worked it off, and then within his reach 
he beheld the hidden treasure of gold. 

Perhaps this boy had never read of the wondrous 
caves of Aladdin and Ali Baba, or of the secret treas- 
ures of Monte Cristo Island, but every boy has dreams 
of treasure-trove and of becoming rich and powerful. 
Whether Toseph was dazzled by the rich prize before 
him and for the moment thought this was just a dream 
come true, or whether he merely wished to examine 


these beautiful, strange things, we do not know, but he 
reached forth to draw them out. Immediately their 
guardian appeared and prevented him. The angel told 
him the time had not yet come for him to receive them. 
He must return on that same day, the 22nd of Septem- 
ber, every year for four years, when, if he should be 
faithful, they would be given over into his care. This 
conversation occurred September 22nd, 1823. Until 
the four years were passed they should remain secure 
in their stone box. 

Moroni told Joseph that he had hidden up the 
records four centuries after the birth of Jesus, while he 
was living on the earth. He said that the Nephites, the 
people to whom he belonged, called the hill where they 
stood Cumorah, and that a still earlier people, the 
Jaredites, called it Ramah. This was a very important 
hill in the history of both these peoples. 

Joseph learned many other things that were new 
to him, and how strange he must have felt when he 
realized that he was the only person on earth to know 
them ! While Moroni was still present, Joseph saw in 
vision the glory of God's kingdom and the horror of 
Satan's. The angel told him these had been shown 
that he might know the good from the evil and never 
be influenced or overcome by Satan's power. 

When the vision was ended Joseph replaced the 
stone, covered it as before and returned home. That 
night when he retired to bed, he ^thanked the Lord for 
what He had taueht him, and prayed humbly that he 
might keep himself pure and faithful. During the last 
twenty-four hours he had been visited five times by an 
angel of light, he had seen a great golden book, the his- 
tory of the peoples that had passed away, and with the 
book, the holy seer-stone and the breastplate of gold. 
Besides all this his life-work had been shown him, and 


he now knew something of what he must suffer and 
what he must do. 




FOR two years after this second great vision, Joseph 
labored at ordinary work, sometimes on his father's 
farm, other times as hired help away from home. His 
father and brothers also worked hard and through their 
industry were able to live comfortably. Alvin, Joseph's 
oldest brother, died in November, 1824, and this was a 
sad blow for the young Prophet, for Alvin constantly 
comforted him in persecution and rejoiced in the work 
he was to do. Tf he had lived he would have been as 
brave and steadfast as was Hyrum, but he died, and 
in dying gave Joseph a brother's blessing. 

In October, 1825, Joseph left home and went to 
work for Josiah Stoal in what was said to be an old 
Spanish silver mine. It was situated in Harmony, Sus- 
quehanna County, near the northern border of the State 
of Pennsylvania. After digging uselessly for a month 
Joseph induced his employer to stop the work, for he 
saw it was only a waste of labor. Mr. Stoal had grown 
to like this tall, clear-headed youth and continued to 
employ him. 

Joseph boarded, while at Harmony, with Isaac 
Hale, and while living there, fell in love with Mr. 


Hale's daughter Emma. She was a worthy girl of 
high character, and they became engaged. There are 
some girls that have not enough love within them to 
marry a man unless he is rich or popular, or at least 
approved of by their friends or relatives ; but Emma 
Hale was not of this class. Joseph was poor, and did 
not have a home of his own. He was persecuted also, 
and Emma's family objected to her marrying a man 
who had so many enemies. But she knew he was a 
manly man and believed him a chosen servant of God ; 
she loved him and was willing to leave a comfortable 
home and live in poverty among strangers with him. 
They went to Squire Tarbill, at South Bainbridge, New 
York, to be married, and Joseph, leaving Mr. Stoal's 
employ, went home to Manchester to work with his 

The marriage occurred January 18, 1827, less 
than a month after Joseph's twenty-first birthday. He 
was a man now and the time was drawing near when 
he should receive the plates. As Moroni commanded 
him, he had gone each year to Cumorah and had seen 
the contents of the stone box. The angel had taught 
him a great deal on each visit and had encouraged him 
to do right. 

On September 22, 1827, the four years of waiting 
ended, and for the fifth time Joseph went to the hill. 
This time he opened the box, and Moroni, who had 
watched over it for fourteen hundred years, gave him 
the plates, the Urim and Thummim and the breastplate. 
The angel told him that he must guard them with his 
life, if necessary, and if he lost them through careless- 
ness the Lord would reject him. Moroni warned him 
that wicked men would try as hard as they could to get 
the plates from him, but if Joseph did his best to keep 
them the Lord would help him. 


The plates were about eight inches wide and each 
one was thinner than common tin. There were so 
many, however, that it made a book about six inches 
thick. All the sheets were bound together by three 
golden rings that passed through one edge, and three 
smaller rings fastened the other edge of about one- 
third, so that this part was sealed. Each sheet was 
engraved on both sides with small beautiful characters, 
but they were very strange and not at all like anything 
Joseph had seen before. 

The breastplate was of pure gold as were the 
plates. This was made to cover the bosom of a large 
man and four golden straps extended from the corners 
for the purpose of fastening it to the body. The Urim 
and Thummim was attached to the breastplate though it 
could be removed. The Urim and Thummim was like 
a large pair of spectacles with silver bows and, instead 
of glasses, clear stones. 

Joseph examined these beautiful things and was 
glad that the Lord had entrusted them to him, but he 
felt, too, that it was a great responsibility. He had 
learned much during the past four years and knew that 
the possession of the plates would not increase his 
worldly pleasures. He placed the treasures under his 
coat and, full of determination to protect them, he set 
out for home. On the way wicked men tried to rob 
him; they struck him with a heavy club; but Joseph 
was a tall, strong man and a swift runner, and he 
escaped. Thev chased him almost to his father's house 
without overtaking him, although he was handicapped 
by the great weight that he carried. 




THE spirit of lying, robbery, and murder is awful 
when it comes upon men, for it makes them seek 
to destroy the truth and to hinder the work of God. 
Mobs filled with this spirit were aroused against Joseph. 
They continually sought to steal the holy plates, and in 
doing this they would willingly have murdered him, but 
he was very careful and the Lord helped him. Min- 
isters, who ought to have been teaching the people to 
be honest and pure, were most prominent in spreading 
lies and stirring up hate against the young Prophet. He 
had never harmed them, but he had been brave enough 
to declare that the Lord had spoken to him, though the 
world turned his enemy. 

Moroni had directed Joseph to translate the record, 
but his enemies were so cunning and so violent that he 
had to hide it to keep it out of their hands. At one time 
they would suddenly break into the house and tear up 
the hearth, at another they would climb into the attic 
and search ; but in every case Joseph had removed the 
treasure before they came, and they hunted in vain. 
This of course kept him frbm translating, and at length, 
he decided that he would leave Manchester and go to- 
his wife's home in Pennsylvania, hoping to be able to 
work there in peace. Joseph had received low wages 
while working for Mr. Stoal and the year of farming 
had not brought him much momey.. But Harmony, 


where Mr. Hale lived, was about one hunred and fifty 
miles from Manchester and it was impossible for him 
to move without aid. 

Sometimes the Lord inspires men to do strange 
things to help His work. Martin Harris, a well-to-do 
farmer, came to Joseph at this time, and in spite of all 
the lies he had heard, gave him fifty dollars. Joseph 
was now able to reach Pennsylvania. On the way, 
there was some excitement, for twice men came with 
search warrants and hunted for the plates. These 
were hidden in a barrel of beans and the men who 
would have liked to steal them failed. 

It was December when he came to the home of his 
father-in-law, and for two months he worked at copy- 
ing the characters from the plates to sheets of paper, 
and writing beneath the translation made by means of 
the Urim and Thummim. In February, 1828, Martin 
Harris came down to Pennsylvania and Joseph gave 
him the sheets. Martin took them to New York City to 
find out whether the characters would be accepted as 
real by learned men. 

He showed them first to Professor Charles Anthon 
of Columbia College. Mr. Anthon examined them 
carefully and said that the translation was correct and 
the best he had ever seen of Egyptian characters. He 
wrote a certificate to this effect, and gave it to Martin. 
He asked how the young man happened to find the 
plates, and when Martin said that an angel had shown 
him where they lay, he asked for the certificate again. 
Martin returned it and Mr. Anthon tore it to pieces, 
saying that there was no such thing as the ministering 
of angels. 

Although Mr. Anthon was too cowardly to let his 
name go before the public connected with what an an- 
sjel was said to have revealed, vet he would have liked 


to obtain worldly praise by translating the record him- 
self, and asked Martin to bring it to him. When told 
that this could not be done and that part of it was 
sealed, he replied, "I cannot read a sealed book." If 
you read the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah you will 
find that the prophet spoke of this circumstance two 
thousand five hundred years ago. 

Martin Harris carried the characters to Dr. Mitch- 
ell, another learned man, and he also said they were 
genuine. This convinced Martin, and he returned to 
Pennsylvania. He now arranged with Joseph to be- 
come his scribe and to write at his dictation, but first 
it was necessary to return home that he might prepare 
for a long stay. He came back to Harmony about the 
middle of April ready to work. 

Joseph had very little education at this time ; he 
could not spell so well as the ordinary school-boy can 
now; his time had been spent in work, and he had had 
few oportunities to learn. But now a book lay before 
him written long ago in a strange tongue and he was to 
translate it into English. Isaiah said that the sealed 
book should be given to one that was not learned, and 
that certainly had now been done. Joseph could not take 
honor to himself as the traslator of it ; he was only a 
humble instrument in the hands of God in bringing it 

When Martin came the second time he immedi- 
ately began service with Joseph, and no writer of books 
ever worked as did they. A screen divided the room in 
which they sat. On one side of this was the young 
Prophet — a tall, manly' fellow, dressed in working 
clothes that had seen long use, his serious, handsome 
face bronzed by the sun and wind, and his hands hard- 
ened bv toil. Before him lay a pile of golden leaves in 
book form worth a fabulous sum from a worldly stand- 


point, and yet too sacred to be looked on even, except 
by the one chosen to bring them forth. Before his 
eyes he held large spectacles with thick, bright stones 
as glasses. Slowly he read aloud in simple English 
from the strange figures on the metal pages. On the 
other side sat a somewhat older man, well-dressed, 
but plainly a country-man, busily writing down the 
words that were spoken. 





JOSEPH and Martin worked together until the trans- 
lation covered one hundred and sixteen pages of 
foolscap paper. Martin Harris was not a patient man 
and it occurred to him that he would like to show his 
friends what he had written without waiting until the 
work was completed. Joseph refused to permit this, 
for the work was not done to gratify curiosity; but 
Martin teased and Joseph inquired of the Lord. The 
answer forbade Joseph's letting the manuscript go, but 
Martin was not satisfied and worried him until he asked 
again. Once more the Lord refused, and for a time 
Martin worked along without complaining; but his wife 
and other members of his family desired to see what 
was written of the new book, and he again induced 
Joseph to ask. 


It was wrong for the Prophet to give way after 
the Lord had twice answered him, but Martin made so 
many promises to be careful that there seemed little 
reason for fearing injury to the manuscript. The last 
time the Lord replied that Martin might take the writ- 
ings on condition that he would show them only to five 
persons, his wife, father and mother, brother and sister- 
in-law. Joseph, too, was held responsible for them. 
With very solemn vows Martin Harris covenanted to 
guard the writings and return them, but he was tempted 
to show them to other persons and they were stolen 
from him. They fell into the hands of evil men and 
neither he nor Joseph ever saw them again. 

The Urim and Thummim had been taken from the 
Prophet because he displeased the Lord in asking so of- 
ten about the writings. When Martin had gone from 
Harmony, after two months of work as scribe, Joseph 
went to his father's home on a visit being unable to go 
on with the work. He soon returned from Manchester 
and the Urim and Thummim was given back to him. 
He was permitted to keep it while the Lord gave him a 
revelation, and then it with the plates was taken away. 
Do not think that the Lord could not have given the 
revelation without the Urim and Thummim. In later 
years Joseph did not use it, but he was still young and 
the Lord perhaps thought it best to make him feel de- 
pendent by not communing openly at all times with him. 

The revelation was a rebuke to him for his weak- 
ness and a warning that though he had been much 
favored he would still be rejected if he were not faith- 
ful and humble. The Lord told him that the work 
should still go on, even though he proved faithless. 
Joseph's sensitive spirit was deeply hurt and he humbly 
repented of what he had done. 

The plates and the Urim and Thummim were 


given back to him again and he was directed to con- 
tinue his labors. It was revealed that if he should 
re-translate what Martin Harris had lost, those who 
had stolen the manuscript would change it in places 
and would deceive the world by saying that Joseph 
could not translate twice alike, and therefore his work 
was not of God. But though Satan had laid a cunning 
plot, the wisdom of God triumphed. 

If you have read the Book of Mormon you have 
perhaps noticed a difference in the books of First 
Nephi, Second Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom and Omni, 
from what follows. If you have not read this beauti- 
ful record, remember to notice the difference when 
you do, and you will see one sign of the complete wis- 
dom and forethought of God. These books were writ- 
ten on the small plates of Nephi, and when Mormon, 
the father of Moroni, found them, he joined them to 
the abridgment he had made of the larger plates. The 
two sets of plates cover the same period of history, 
but the larger set deals more with government and the 
political affairs, while the smaller is rather a record 
of the dealings of the Lord with the people. 

Nephi hardly knew why he was commanded by the 
Lord to make the smaller plates and write upon them, 
but he obeyed. Moroni tells us he did not know why 
he was moved upon to add them to his abridgement. 
But we now see the purpose of the Lord in it. The 
translation that Martin Harris lost was from Mormon's 
abridgment of the larger plates. Joseph was com- 
manded to translate the same part from the smaller 
plates, and thus Satan's plan to deceive could not be 
used. This change makes the Book of Mormon more 
valuable, too, because on the smaller plates were writ- 
ten many choice prophecies and revelations that Mor- 
mon did not srive in the abridgment. 


Joseph did not at once begin to translate, but for 
a time worked on a small farm he had bought from his 
wife's father, Isaac Hale. He receved a number of 
important revelations about this time for the comfort 
and instruction of himself and of others who came 
to him. When he began to translate again, the work 
went on very slowly for he had no one to write for 
him regularly. Sometimes his wife Emma could spare 
time and a little progress was made. But Joseph and 
Emma had lost their firstborn child, a son, soon after 
his birth in July, 1828, and the mother through grief 
and poor health could give but little assistance in the 
work. This state of affairs continued until April, 1829. 




JOSEPH was now twenty-three years old, and his life 
up to this time had been in a sense only a prepara- 
tion for his work. He had held the plates for a year 
and a half and though he had studied them and had 
translated a considerable part yet through Martin Har- 
ris' sin he was still at the beginning of the book. But 
that time had been valuable for him, though he had 
little to show for it. He had learned what the dis- 
pleasure of the Lord means, and, though forgiven, he 


had been taught a lesson that he never forgot. Still he 
had been true to his trust in guarding the plates and no 
mortal eyes except his own had looked upon them. 

As the sun was setting on Sunday, April 5, 1829, a 
young man came into Harmony and sought Joseph for 
the purpose of making his acquaintance and helping 
him. This man was Oliver Cowdery, who during the 
past winter had taught school at Manchester and, as 
teachers in country schools used to do, he boarded 
around at the students' homes. In these visits he came 
to live with the family of Joseph Smith, Senior, and 
there he heard of the younger Joseph and his work. 
He was at first struck by the strangeness of it all, and 
then prayed seriously to God to learn whether He really 
had revealed Himself in this day. The Holy Ghost 
manifested to him that Joseph had assuredly been vis- 
ited by celestial beings and that he was called to aid 
the young Prophet in his work. 

When school had closed, therefore, Oliver came to 
Pennsylvania, and two days after meeting Joseph the 
young men set themselves earnestly to the work of 
translation. There were few interruptions and as Oliver 
was used to writing the progress was rapid. Some- 
times they found things in the P>oOk of Mormon or the 
Bible that they did not understand although they 
talked them over together and studied them ever so 
hard, and when this happened they asked the Lord to 
explain these matters to them. Sometimes they prayed 
just as we do, and sometimes Joseph put on the Urim 
and Thummim besides; but the Lord always answered 
them and showed them what they did not understand. 

When tired of writing they would often go for a 
walk in the woods or down to the river for recreation 
and healthful exercise. A favorite pastime was to throw 
stones into the stream. Joseph especially was very 


fond of jumping and wrestling, and was expert at both. 
It is said that he could walk under a pole — he was six 
feet tall — and then, taking a step or two back, jump 
over it. He was a noted wrestler, and in later life even, 
he often enjoyed a vigorous bout. Though his life 
was a most busy one he still found time to keep his 
body strong and healthy and to relax his mind by 
athletic practice. 

About a month after beginning work, Joseph 
translated from the plates a passage that spoke of bap- 
tism. It said that it is necessary to be baptized in or- 
der that a person's sins may be washed away and for- 
given. Neither Joseph nor Oliver had been forgiven 
of past sins by baptism, and after talking over the 
matter earnestly, on the fifteenth of May, 1829, they 
went into the woods to pray for light. While they, were 
kneeling a voice from the midst of heaven bade them 
have peace, then the veil parted and John the Baptist 
came down before them. This is the same brave proph- 
et who preached repentance and the coming of the 
Savior, in the wilderness of Judea, and baptized Him 
in Jordan. John was beheaded while in prison by 
Herod, but now he came quickened and clothed with 

He calmed them with his gentle yet thrilling voice, 
telling them he was their fellow-servant and acting un- 
der the direction of Peter, James and John. He laid 
his hands upon their heads and ordained them to the 
Aaronic Priesthood, which he represented in life. His 
words were : 

"Upon, you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, 
f confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of 
the ministering of angels and of the gospel pf repentance 
and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and 
this shall never again be taken from the earth until the 
sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in 


John then directed Joseph to baptize Oliver and 
that Oliver should baptize Joseph ; after this in the 
same way they should ordain each other to the Aaronic 
Priesthood. He said that they must not lay on hands 
for the gift of the Holy Ghost as that was not the 
power of the Priesthood of Aaron. Later the Melchiz- 
edek Priesthood would be given them and then they 
could lay on hands and perform other holy offices. 

There was a river near by and Joseph and Oliver 
went into it together, prepared to perform the sacred 
ordinance. It was a strange sight on earth, and no 
doubt the hosts of heaven were glad, for since the 
righteous Nephites no man had been cleansed from sin 
in the waters of baptism. Joseph seriously spoke the 
simple words of the ordinance and then laid Oliver 
beneath the water. As he drew him up, suddenly the 
spirit of prophecy came upon Oliver. He was filled 
with joy and foretold glorious things that were about 
to come to pass. Oliver then baptized Joseph and the 
Holy Spirit fell in a like manner upon him. He proph- 
esied concerning the rise of the Church and of its prog- 
ress, and declared many things that were to happen 
in that generation. 

Filled with these exalted feelings Joseph laid his 
hands upon Oliver's head and ordained him a Priest 
after the order of Aaron, and Oliver did the same to 
Joseph. They already held the Priesthood, because that 
was given by John, but they re-ordained each other as 
a pattern for others, since the Priesthood was to be 
conferred in the future after baptism. 

From this time on, the minds of the young men 
were enlightened and they understood things that had 
been mysteries before. Persecution had begun, and for 
a time thev said nothing about what had taken place ; 
but soon they began explaining the scriptures to all 
who would listen. 


Joseph's brother Samuel, who came on a visit at 
this time, was shown the translation already made, and 
heard the testimony of Joseph and Oliver. After a 
time he became partially converted and went alone to 
pray and learn from the Lord whether the work was 
true. A strong testimony was given him, and soon* 
after Oliver baptized him. On coming out of the wa- 
ter he too began to prophesy remarkable things, as 
Oliver and Joseph had done". Samuel returned home 
and Hyrum came to Harmony. He heard the truth and 

A very kind service was done the Prophet at this 
time by Joseph Knight, an old gentleman living in 
Broome County, New York. Now and at other times, 
he brought a load of provisions in order that Joseph 
and Oliver might keep on translating. But though 
supplied with food and protected from violence by the 
family of Isaac Hale, still persecution grew very severe 
against them and it seemed necessary to move from 
Harmony, if they wished to work in peace. 





EARLY in June, 1829, a young man drove up to 
Joseph's door after two days of hard traveling. 
He said that he had come from Fayette, Seneca Co., 
New York, one hundred and fifty miles away, for the 


purpose of carrying the Prophet and his companion to 
Fayette if they wished to go. He was David Whitmer, 
son of Peter Whitmer, and his father invited Joseph to 
come to their home. They offered him protection and 
to provide for his wants while he was working at the 

Joseph accepted the invitation and, leaving Emma 
with her father, he and Oliver departed with David. 
Before setting out Joseph asked the Lord how he should 
carry the plates. In answer to his prayer Moroni ap- 
peared and took them from him, promising to return 
them again. When he reached Fayette the angel vis- 
ited him in Mr. Whitmer's garden and gave them over 
to him. 

The translation continued very rapidly, for when 
Oliver grew tired, David or his brother John was ready 
to write at the Prophet's dictation. When not translat- 
ing, Joseph and Oliver spent their time in teaching 
those who came to listen and in explaining what the 
Lord had revealed to them. 

There were many serious persons who wished to 
hear the truth. David Whitmer had been remarkably 
aided that he might hasten to bring Joseph to Fayette. 
Three strange men were seen scattering the plaster that 
David had put in a heap upon one of his fields to 
fertilize it, and they did it with more than human skill 
and speed. Tn harrowing in wheat on another field 
David had done in one day more than he could usually 
have done in two or three days. Many in the neigh- 
borhood hearing of this were impressed that the Lord 
had helped him in bringing the two young men and 
believed that they were His servants. 

When any person became convinced that the work 
was divine and desired to be baptized, the ordinance 
was performed. Joseph soon had the pleasure of bap- 


tizing his brother Hyrum and David Whitmer, and at 
the same time Oliver baptized Peter Whitmer, Junior. 
Soon there were^so many believers that baptisms were 
performed nearly every day in Seneca lake, a beautiful 
body of water lying on the western border of Seneca 

While at work on the translation it was learned 
that three persons should be shown the sacred plates, 
in order that their testimony might be given to the 
world. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin 
Harris begged Joseph to ask the Lord if they could not 
be the ones. Joseph did this during the month of June, 
1829, and the Lord answered that if they trusted in His 
words with full purpose of heart they should be shown 
the plates, the breastplate, Urim and Thummim, sword 
of Laban and the Liahona, or compass, given to Lehi 
in the wilderness. Soon after they all went into the 
woods to pray that the Lord would show the plates, 
which Joseph had given up for the time to the Angel 

The four men kneeled down and Joseph offered a 
prayer, then the others in turn prayed, but no answer 
came. Joseph began again and the others followed but 
though they prayed with fervor yet they failed to re- 
ceive any manifestation. Before beginning again Mar- 
tin Harris said he believed he was the cause of the 
failure. He offered to go aside and pray alone. 

Martin had spoken the truth, for soon after he 
withdrew, a light of surpassing fairness came down 
from heaven and within it stood the angel holding the 
golden plates. He turned the leaves and the characters 
engraved thereon were illumined so that the witnesses 
saw them plainly. They also heard the voice of the 
Lord declaring that the plates before them were re- 
vealed by God and had been translated by His power. 


They were commanded to bear record that the trans- 
lation was correct. 

When the vision passed away Joseph sought Mar- 
tin Harris. He found him, humbled by this rebuke for 
his past wickedness and praying with his whole heart 
for forgiveness and for the privilege of viewing the 
record. Joseph joined him in prayer and soon the an- 
gel again appeared and the whole vision was repeated. 
Martin had never beheld a spiritual sight before and he 
could not long bear the glory before him, but he was 
filled with joy and shouted hosanna to God. 

The three men who had been chosen as witnesses 
drew up and signed a statement, which is now printed 
in the fore part of the Book of Mormon. They testi- 
fied to all the world that they had seen an angel hold- 
ing the plates and heard the voice of God declaring 
that the translation was correct. Oliver Cowdery, the 
first signer, went on missions and did much good, but 
he lost the spirit of the gospel and fell. In 1838 he was 
cut of! the Church. David Whitmer lost his standing 
at the same time and Martin Harris in the same year. 
For nine years Oliver Cowdery was separated from the 
Church, and for thirty-three years Martin Harris re- 
mained away, but both were finally rebaptized and died 
in the Church. David Whitmer never came back, but 
he and his fellow-witnesses affirmed time after time 
that they had really seen the angel and beheld the 
golden plates. 

The Prophet was permitted to show the record to 
eigh other persons as an additional testimony. They 
were Christian ^ Tacob and John Whitmer and Peter 
Whitmer, Tun., Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., and 
his sons Hyrum and Samuel H. Smith. These men 
handled the plates and seriously judged them to be of 
ofold and engraved with ancient work. They were 


without exception unflinching in their testimony that 
the Book of Mormon is true. 

When John the Baptist visted Joseph and Oliver 
to give them the Aaronic Priesthood he promised that 
the Priesthood of Melchizedek would later be con- 
ferred upon them. They became very desirous to re- 
ceive this and made it a matter of prayer. As they 
were once asking the Lord about it they heard His 
voice directing them to ordain each other, but not until 
they were accepted as spiritual teachers by those al- 
ready baptized. Sometime after this, during the month 
of June, 1829, Peter James and John appeared to 
them and conferred upon them the holy Priesthood. 
These three had been chosen by Jesus Christ when He 
lived on the earth to preside over the Priesthood and it 
was their office to restore it when the Lord chose to 
permit men on the earth again to hold it. 

The work of translation was now drawing to an 
end and a contract was made with Egbert B. Grandin, 
of Palmyra, to print five thousand copies. In August, 
1829, the work of printing began. The copy used was 
not the original manuscript, but the whole was rewrit- 
ten and Joseph preserved the original. Three thousand 
dollars was the price agreed on and Martin Harris gave 
security for its payment. In March, 1830, the book 
was issued to the world. 

When the work was finished Joseph delivered the 
sacred treasures to the angel Moroni and left them to 
be guarded by him. Treasure seekers have searched 
for them, the stone box has been torn away, but they 
have been sought in vain and they will remain hidden 
until the Lord's own due time. 

Oliver Cowdery was left by Joseph to watch over 
the work of printing and the Prophet was free to visit 


his wife at Harmony. It was, however, a busy winter 
for him, for he received many revelations concerning 
the organization of the Church, and he spent much 
lime in declaring the truth to all who would listen. 





ON the sixth day of April, in the year eighteen hun- 
dred and thirty, was organized at the home of 
Peter Whitmer in Fayette, Seneca County, New 
York, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
Six men made the organization, and their names are 
Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, 
Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith and David Whit- 

It was a humble beginning for the Church of 
Jesus Christ, as was His beginning humble when He 
came unon th^ earth. At that time mighty mansions 
and gorgeous palaces stood as the dwelling places of 
royalty, but the Great King was born where cattle and 
bea^ of burden were housed. Now splendid churches 
and magnificant cathedrals stood as places of worship, 
but Christ's Church was organized and the mighty 
work of salvation begun in a house of logs in an ob- 


scure village and by country men of little worldly learn- 

But the Spirit of God and the holy Priesthood 
were there. Jesus had revealed the manner of organi- 
zation and the day, and had commanded that it be 
called after Him since it was His Church. The six 
men had been forgiven of sin through baptism. Under 
these circumstances the rudeness of the surroundings 
was of little account. 

The meeting opened by prayer. Joseph and Oliver 
were first accepted as spiritual teachers, and then Jo- 
seph laid his hands on Oliver's head and ordained him 
an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. Oliver ordained Joseph to the same office, and 
they administered the sacrament. They now possessed 
the authority to confer the Holy Ghost, and they did 
so by laying their hands upon the heads of their com- 
panions, and at the same time they confirmed them 
members of the Church. 

As on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost, 
coming down from Heaven like cloven tongues of fire, 
gave to the Apostles new understanding, so now' the 
minds of those who received it were filled with light. 
Some prophesied, and all rejoiced and praised God 
with thankful hearts. To Joseph was given a revelation 
calling him to the leadership and Oliver to the place of 
second Elder and preacher in the Church, and com- 
manding the members to give Joseph their obedience. 
The Soirit also directed Joseph and Oliver to call out 
and ordain some of the members to different offices in 
the Priesthobd. 

A number of persons besides six members were 
present at the meeting on the sixth of April and they 
soon asked that they might be baptized and received 
into the Church. Toseph's father and mother and Mar- 


tin Harris were among these. On the following Sun- 
day, April 11th, Oliver Cowdery preached the first ser- 
mon of this dispensation of the Gospel. The meeting 
was again at Peter Whitmer's house and many were 
present. Six more desired baptism, and Oliver per- 
formed th^ ordinance in Seneca Lake. A week later 
he baptized seven others in the same place. 

Soon after the Church was organized the Prophet 
set out to visit the family of Joseph Knight, at Coles- 
ville, Broome County. You remember that Mr. Knight 
had helped Joseph and the work a year before bv 
bringing provisions to Harmony. In gratitude Joseph 
now carried to him what is better than food in the 
greatest hunger — the Gosoel. He was very kndly re- 
ceived and had the privilege of holding a number of 
meetings. Manv honest souls became interested and 
sought for testimonies. 

Newel Knight, the son of Joseph Knight, was oik 
of these and had promised the Prophet that he would 
pray in meeting. When the time came, however, he 
was unwilling, and said that he would prav first in se- 
cret. Toseph could not induce him to call upon the 
Lord there. Newel came back from the woods next 
morning, where he had retired, verv much distressed. 
He had tried to prav, but he felt he had done wrong 
to refuse when called noon and now it was very hard 
to ask the Lord for light. He grew ill and sent his 
wif° fnf To c eph. 

When the Prophet reached the house Newel was 
in a frightful condition. His features and limbs were 
twisted out of shape and he was being thrown violently 
around the room. A number of persons had come, but 
thev knew not what to do. Joseph at length caught his 
hand and Newel immediately spoke and begged the 
Prophet to cast the devil out of him. Joseph rebuked 


the evil spirit, and in the name of Jesus Christ com- 
manded it to depart. Newel was instantly freed from 
it, and declared that he saw the devil come out of him 
and disappear. 

He was in his natural state only for a moment. 
Another power seized him and raised him to the ceil- 
ing where he remained for a time unconscious. But 
this was the Spirit of God, not of the devil and when 
he came to himself he told of a heavenly vision of 
unspeakable beauty that had. been given him. 

Those present in the room were astonished. They 
had seen the destroying power of Satan and the en- 
lightening power of God. They had beheld a miracle 
such as the world had not seen since the time of the 
Apostles, and they were convinced that Joseph held the 
same power as did they of old. 

Joseph soon went back to Fayette, and continued 
his teaching among the people. On the first day of 
June, 1830, the first conference of the Church was 
held, at the Whitmer home. It opened by singing and 
prayer and the sacrament was administered. A num- 
ber of confirmations were made and the Holy Ghost 
again descended upon the Saints. The spirit of proph- 
ecy rested upon some, while others beheld glorious 
visions and sank to the floor overcome. 

Newel Knight, who had journeyed to Fayette 
shortly before and been baptized by David Whitmer, 
had the curtain of heaven again drawn aside. He 
looked upon his Redeemer Jesus sitting beside the Eter- 
nal Father, and he realized that some day it would be 
his blessed privilege to come into their presence and 
dwell forever. The future was unfolded before him 
and he saw the progress of God's Kingdom on earth. 

Much instruction was given the Saints, and they 
were filled with gratitude for what they had seen and 


heard. Their hearts overflowed with joy and love and 
they felt eager to press forward in the work. Once 
more believers came forth and requested baptism, and 
David Whitmer was appointed by the Prophet to per- 
form it. 





WHEN the conference of June 1st, 1830, was over 
Joseph went to his home at Harmony after a 
somewhat long absence. He had no time however, to 
settle down and rest; he was still needed in the work 
of our blessed Master, and so taking his wife with him 
he set out for Colesville accompanied by Oliver Cow- 
dery, David and John Whitmer. 

Many persons were there who had faith in the 
Lord and in His work and had repented of past wrong 
doing. They now desired to be cleansed from sin by 
baptism, and to be given the Holy Ghost that they 
might be numbered with the Saints. 

It was Joseph's intention to have the baptism per- 
formed on Sunday, and on Saturday afternoon he had 
the others placed a dam across a stream near Mr. 
Knight's house so that the water would be deep enough. 
The baptizing had to be put off, however, for during 
the night the dam was torn away by a mob that had 
been aroused by the ministers of the neighborhood. It 
would be interesting to know the texts used that Sun- 


day by these pastors who were hired to lead their 
flocks in Godly and peaceful paths. 

Monday morning early the dam was again built 
before the mob was astir, and Oliver Cowdery baptized 
thirteen persons. Among these was Emma Smith, the 
Prophet's wife. It was a joyful occasion for Joseph. 
Before the baptizing was finished the mob had come 
together and begun to show an ugly spirit. Joseph and 
his friends retired to Mr. Knight's house. The mob 
followed and tried to pick a quarrel, but the brethren 
would not quarrel and so these bad men had no excuse 
to hurt them although they would have liked to do it. 

A meeting was set for the evening, to confirm 
those baptized. The people had gathered and were 
just ready to commence when in walked a constable and 
arrested Joseph on the charge of being a disorderly per- 
son, and setting the country in an uproar by preach- 
ing the Book of Mormon. What a charge ! Joseph 
had held a few quiet meetings in private houses, and 
the uproar was not begun by him. 

You can imagine that the people were surprised 
and some, no doubt, were pretty angry, but Joseph al- 
lowed himself to be arrested quietly. He acted so like a 
true gentleman — he always was a gentleman — and had 
such an honest face and manly bearing that the officer 
made up his mind that he was no rascal but a true man, 
and straightway became his friend. And it was for- 
tunate for Joseph that he did, because he had intended 
to lead the Prophet into a trap. Of course, now he 
changed his mind and told him that the arrest was 
only a trick to get him away from his friends and let 
him fall into the hands of the mob, which was lying in 
wait for him on the road. The constable determined 
to try a trick of his own on the mob, and they set out 
together in a light wagon. 


They had not gone very far before they came upon 
a crowd of evil-looking men, who gathered about to 
seize Joseph as soon as the wagon stopped. The con- 
stable drove in among them and they awaited his signal. 
Suddenly he seized his whip and gave his horse a cut 
and before the ruffians could stir the wagon was just 
out of their reach. Then began a great race — horse 
against man, and the horse was getting the best of it. 
The mob, though they ran as fast as they could, were 
being left behind, and Joseph and the officer were 
breathing more easily, when suddenly off came the 
wagon-wheel. What a plight they were in! If they 
had stopped to say bad words about their luck they 
would probably have been caught, for the mob were 
racing down the road like mad, but they did not swear, 
they jumped from the wagon, replaced the wheel, 
fastened it, and away they sped again just in time to 

They continued to South Bainbridge in the adjoin- 
ing county and here secured a room in a tavern for the 
night. The constable gave Joseph the bed while he 
slept with his feet aaginst the door with a loaded mus- 
ket at his side. They were not disturbed. 

Next day the Prophet came as prisoner into court. 
It was the first time that he had ever been tried on any 
charge. Many times afterwards he was taken before 
courts for trial, and yet in no case was he ever found 
guilty. But though he suffered so much from wicked 
persecutors he never refused to submit himself to the 

When the constable had come and taken Joseph 
away from the meeting, it broke up, and Joseph Knight 
went to two of his neighbors, James Davidson and 
John Reid to engage them to defend the Prophet in 
court. These men were honorable, intelligent farmers 


who understood well the principles of justice and the 
laws of the land. Though they had never seen Joseph 
and were in no way connected with the Church, they 
consented to take his case in spite of the violent preju- 
dice against him. 

Mr. Reid afterwards said that when asked he was 
at first unwilling on account of other work, but before 
he could refuse he heard a low voice say, "You must go 
to deliver the Lord's anointed !" The messenger had 
not spoken and had not heard the voice, and Mr. Reid 
felt that he had received instruction from heaven. He 
willingly took the case, feeling sure of success. 

The prosecution was carried on by a Presbyterian 
named Seymour, and he tried by false witnesses to win 
the case, but Joseph's lawers pleaded well, and the 
judge set him free. He was immediately arrested again 
by another constable and taken back to Colesville, 
Bropme County, to be tried there. They stayed over 
night at a tavern, and during the evening, the officer 
invited bad men in to join him in abusing the Prophet. 

What they did there would have shocked a decent 
heathen. Joseph was a helpless prisoner in the hands 
of an officer of the law and there was no reason for 
thinking him guilty of any crime. Yet that coward 
officer with his associates spit upon him, and cursed 
him, and then pointing their fingers at him told him to 
prophesy. You all have heard how Judas led the mul- 
titude against Jesus as He prayed on the Mount of 
Olives, and how they took Him to the house of Cai- 
aphas the high priest to bring false witness against 
Him. And there they buffeted Him, and spit upon Him, 
and told Him to prophesy. Joseph thought of this, and 
though his sensitive nature must have sickened at the 
treatment, yet he remembered that he was only servant 
and that the Master had suffered thus. In both cases it 


was the same low, cowardly spirit of Satan, the spirit 
that always seeks to pollute the pure and unprotected. 

The Prophet had eaten nothing since morning and 
^-^ hungry and tired. He asked for food, and the con- 
stable gave him a few crusts of bread. He then offered 
security for his appearance and asked that he might 
be allowed to spend the night at home. This was re- 
fused. He was compelled to sleep against the wall and 
the constable took away all chance of comfort by ly- 
ing at his side and holding him all night long. 

Next day Joseph was again tried, and the same 
lawyers and witnesses were present to prosecute him, 
as on the day before. He was glad to find there also 
the men who had so ably defended him. The evidence 
against the Prophet was shown either to be false or to 
have no bearing on the subject. Lawyer Seymour 
sought to prejudice the court by a violent speech, but 
Mr. Davidson and Mr. Reid spoke with such astonish- 
ing power in his behalf that the accusers cowered be- 
fore them. They each thanked God that they were per- 
mitted to defend a man whose character was so free 
from guilt. 

So effective was the defense of this case that many 
who had wished the Prophet harm now became his 
friends. Even the constable who had been so unmanly, 
asked his pardon and offered him aid. The officer told 
him that the mob had gathered and was determined to 
tar and feather Joseph and ride him on a rail, since he 
could not be injured legally. He led the Prophet out 
by a secret way and Joseph escaped. Next day with his 
wife he returned to his home in Harmony. 

Those baptized at Colesville had not yet been con- 
firmed members of the Church, because such a bad, un- 
American spirit had taken hold of the people there 
that Joseph and his friends hardly dared to be found 


in the neighborhood for fear of being hurt or killed. 
After a little while, however, he and Oliver came on 
foot from Harmony, but they had no sooner reached 
Air. Knight's house than their enemies, learning they 
were there, formed a mob and came to capture them. 
Now what should the two men have done in such a po- 
sition ? They might have remained, determined to have 
their rights, and with the help of their friends fought 
the mob. They were not afraid, Oliver was brave, and 
Joseph Smith did not know what fear was. But they 
were ministers of peace, and peace could be had only 
by going away, and they went. They did not stop for 
food or drink, but hurried to escape, for their enemies 
were following like a pack of bloodhounds. Several 
times they were nearly caught, but they were strong 
men and outran their pursuers. They traveled all 
night and reached home in the morning, pretty thor- 
oughly tired out. 

In July, 1830, Oliver Cowdery left Joseph and 
went to Fayette to labor there. In his place, as scribe 
to the Prophet, came John Whitmer, and Joseph with 
his help began to re-write and arrange the revelations 
that he had received up to this time. Many had been 
given, and it was necessary that they be kept for the 
use of the Church in the future. 



WHEN Joseph first visited the hill Cumorah the 
Lord let him look upon the kingdom of heaven 
and upon the kingdom of hell. He saw the powers of 
each, and the methods and influences that each used. 
This vision was of great value to him throughout life. 
The contrast made him desire with all his heart to 
reach heaven and kept him on the alert at all times to 
escape hell. What was also very important, it gave 
him a complete knowledge of the practices and weapons 
of Satan, the enemy of truth. 

All this he beheld in vision, but through the fol- 
lowing years in real life he saw these powers of evil at 
work, and he had to fight against them. Thanks to 
the knowledge given him, to his faithfulness and to the 
help of the Lord, he came off victor in every engage- 
ment. He had met Satan in the thieves and murderers 
that tried to steal the plates, in the lying ministers that 
sought to blacken his character, in the violent devil that 
nearly destroyed Newel Knight, and in the mobs that 
only recently attempted to capture and kill him. 

It was now necessary for him to meet another at- 
tack of the evil one, and it gave him more grief than 
any up to this time. While working with John Whit- 
mer, at Harmony, probably during the latter part of 


July, 1830, Joseph received a letter from Oliver, who 
was at Fayette, commanding him in the name of the 
Lord to erase part of a revelation he had received. 

Joseph saw that Satan was now in the flock and 
that Oliver had been deceived by him. He wrote ask- 
ing by what authority Oliver commanded him to 
change the words that God had spoken. He soon vis- 
ited Fayette and found that the Whitmer family had 
joined with Oliver. He reasoned with them and one 
after another they came to see their error and re- 
pented sincerely. 

After returning to Harmony the Prophet was vis- 
ited by Newel Knight and his wife. A little meeting 
was arranged, and Joseph started to buy wine for the 
sacrament, but an angel appeared and told him not to 
use wine for this purpose unless made by themselves. 
Since that time throughout the Church wine has never 
been used except when new and home-made. At the 
meeting Emma and Newel's wife were confirmed, and 
though only five members were present they had an en- 
joyable time, for the Spirit of the Lord was there. 

Near the end of August, Joseph with his brother 
Hyrum, David and John Whitmer, went to Colesville to 
confirm the others whom Oliver had baptized. It was 
a dangerous thing to do, so they prayed that the eyes 
of evil men might be blinded and that they might ful- 
fill their purpose. Near Newel's house they met many 
of their enemies working on the road. They looked 
closely at the brethren but failed to recognize them. 

A good meeting was held that night; the con- 
firmations were attended to and the sacrament was ad- 
ministered. Next morning Joseph and his companions 
went home. Soon after they left, an angry mob sur- 
rounded the house and spent the rest of the day in 
wicked threats against the Saints. 


The spirit of persecution had been growing in 
Harmony through the diligent efforts of a Methodist 
minister who would not mind his own business. 
Through his lies Isaac Hale was at length prejudiced 
and refused to pr.otect Joseph any longer. Soon after 
the Prophet returned from Colesville the last time, 
Newel Knight came with his wagon and moved him 
to Fayette on the invitation of the Whitmers. 

Here was another trial. Hiram Page, brother-in- 
law of David Whitmer, had been receiving revelations 
through a peculiar stone. They were directed to the 
Church, though they were contrary to the Gospel as 
explained both in the Bible and in the revelations given 
through Joseph. Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer 
family were again deceived. 

Joseph was grieved. At Colesville the hearts of 
strange men were rilled with hate, at Harmony his 
friends and relatives had turned against him, and now 
at Fayette his brethren were rejecting him and the 
Lord. He went quietly to work and induced Oliver to 
pray with him. An answer came in a revelation of 
very great importance. The Lord told Oliver that Jo- 
seph Smith, Jr., was the only man that should receive 
revelations for the Church, until another should be ap- 
pointed in his stead. Every faithful man may be di- 
rected by the Lord and be taught by the Holy Spirit, 
but the president alone has the authority to command 
the Church in the name of the Lord. 

A conference was held September 1, 1830, and 
Joseph, of course, presided. He was very careful and 
wise and he at length convinced Hiram Page and the 
others that the revelations were from the devil. They 
were rejected by all, and again they repented for lack 
of faith. The Lord forgave them, for His Spirit rested 
with power upon the conference and brought harmony 

dZ the latter-day prophet. 

and love and greater faith. At this time the glorious 
principle of the gathering was revealed, and that Zion 
should be built up in the land bordering the Lamanites. 

Parley P. Pratt wh.o had recently been baptized in 
Seneca lake by Oliver Cowdery came again to Fayette 
after carrying the Gospel to his kindred in eastern 
New York. He himself had received it in a very 
strange way. In the beginning of the year 1830, he 
prayed that he might understand the scriptures. He 
had always loved them and studied them diligently, but 
after the Lord in answer to his prayer enlightened his 
mind, he saw how ignorant the world was of their true 
meaning. He felt called to preach the truths, and after 
selling his house in the backwoods of Ohio where he 
lived, and settling his affairs, he set out with his wife 
depending entirely on the care of the Lord. In his 
wanderings he was directed by the Spirit to those who 
had heard the Gospel and he hastened to Fayette where 
he was baptized. 

About a month after the conference the Lord re- 
vealed through Joseph that Parley P. Pratt and Ziba 
Peterson should go on a mission with Oliver Cowdery 
and Peter Whitmer, Jr., to preach the Gospel to the 
Lamanites. This was the first time that men bearing 
the holy Priesthood went forth to preach the word since 
the time of the Apostles 6f Jesus. Tens of thousands 
have now been bearers of the same glad message. 

They set out preaching where they had a chance 
and distributing Books of Mormon to many honest 
souls. They visited the Cattaraugus Indians, near Buf- 
falo, New York, and then made their way to Kirtland, 
Ohio. Here they met Sidney Rigdon, who less than 
two years before had baptized Elder Pratt into the 
Reformed Baptist church. They gave him a Book of 
Mormon. He read it and believed, and immediately 


sacrificed his profitable employment as minister to join 
the Church. 

Others came forward in great numbers and were 
baptized. Worthy men among the converts were given 
the Priesthood, and among these were Sidney Rigdon, 
Lyman Wight and Frederick G. Williams. The last 
named went with the brethren on their mission to the 

After spending two or three weeks at Kirtland 
they journeyed on, passing through, as they went, 
many hardships and strange adventures. They preached 
to the Wyandots, a tribe of Indians living in Ohio, and 
to many white people, and at length reached Inde- 
pendence, Jackson County, a small town on the west- 
ern border of Missouri. They passed onto what is 
now the State of Kansas and preached to the Delaware 
Indians until expelled by government agents. Then 
they took up their labors in and about Jackson County, 
little knowing at the time that here should be the cen- 
ter stake of Zion and the holy city. 




WHEN the brethren had set out on their mission to 
the West, Joseph busied himself in his work at 
Fayette. Men were coming to him from time to time 
to learn what the Lord desired for them, and through 
him revelations were given for their benefit. Other 
subjects were being revealed and among them were 


matters of great importance to the Church. Joseph 
also began the revision of the Bible in order that the 
scripture, unchanged, might be given the Saints. 

In December Sidney Rigdon and Edward Par- 
tridge came to Fayette from Kirtland to offer their 
services to the Lord. Edward Partridge had heard the 
Gospel and believed, but had not been baptized. Jo- 
seph, therefore, baptized him and ordained him an 
Elder. The word of the Lord came unto Joseph call- 
ing these two men to labor in the ministry. 

The Prophet was directed soon after this to leave 
off translating and to spend his entire time in minis- 
tering to the Church and in preaching. The Saints, who 
now numbered about seventy, in New York, were to 
leave that State as soon as practicable and gather to 
Ohio. It was therefore necessary for him to inspire 
them with faith for the trials of this move and to give 
other honest souls a chance to join the Church. 

On the 2nd of January, 1831, a conference was 
held at Fayette, being the third since the Church was 
organized. It was a glorious time for the assembled 
Saints, for besides the regular instruction a revelation 
came from the Lord telling them that He would give 
them a land of promise and that they should possess 
it eternally. He promised, too, that He would come at 
a future day and rule as King. 

According to the instruction of the Lord, Joseph 
set out from Fayette in the latter part of January for 
Ohio. The Saints were to follow in the spring, and it 
was necessary to find out the conditions and prepare for 
them. He was accompanied by his wife and by Sidney 
Rigdon and Edward Partridge. They all reached Kirt- 
land in safety and immediately after, on February 4th, 
1831, according to a revelation, Joseph ordained Ed- 
ward Partridge to be the first Bishop in the Church. 


The Prophet now made his home with Newel K. 
Whitney and occupied himself in translating the scrip- 
tures, receiving revelation, discerning and casting out 
false spirits and guiding the Church. Since the Prophet 
obtained so many revelations now, it might be well to 
describe how one was given. Parley P. Pratt and 
others say that it was dictated by Joseph to the person 
writing, slowly and distinctly, sentence after sentence. 
When one part was spoken the Prophet paused until it 
was written. If written correctly it seemed to vanish 
from his mind and the next was spoken. If a mistake 
was made by the scribe, the Prophet did not go on 
until it was corrected. There was no hesitation in go- 
ing forward, and no changes were made after the reve- 
lation was written. 

A conference of the Church was held at Kirtland 
June 6, 1831, and- all the Elders and Saints that could 
be gathered together were present. The Holy Ghost 
was made manifest in its workings upon the Prophet 
and many of the Elders. The spirit of evil was also 
shown to be present, but as soon as discerned it was re- 
buked in the name of the Lord Jesus, and vanished. 
The High Priesthood, a degree of the Melchizedek 
higher than the Elder, was conferred for the first time 
on a number of faithful men. 

On the day after the Kirtland conference the 
Prophet was directed to set apart a number of the 
Elders for missionary work. They were to travel 
westward two by two until they reached Missouri, 
preaching the Gospel on the way. It was promised 
that the next conference of the Church would be held 
in Missouri, on the land that the Lord had appointed 
for Zion. About thirty Elders were called, only two 
of these being sent eastward. 

On the nineteenth day of June, 1831, Joseph left 


Kirtland for the West in company with Sidney Rig- 
don, Martin Harris, Edward Partridge, Joseph Coe, 
W. W. Phelps, and A. S. Gilbert and wife. They 
crossed the State of Ohio by stage and boats and took 
steamer from Cincinnati down the Ohio river to Louis- 
ville, Kentucky. After a delay of three days they again 
sailed down the Ohio to the Mississippi and up that 
river to St. Louis. The party divided here ; Joseph and 
Elders Partridge, Harris, Phelps and Coe crossed Mis- 
souri to Independence, Jackson County, by foot, and the 
others sailed up the Missouri river. 

The meeting between Joseph and Oliver and the 
Elders with each was a very happy one. For nine 
months they had been separated and now they were 
united again, a thousand miles from where they parted. 
They saw one another full of faith and zeal for the 
progress of the Lord's work, and they wept with joy. 

They' stood upon the land of Zion, and realized 
that it was holy ground, for here the New Jerusalem, 
the celestial city, shall be built. They looked upon it, 
too, as the immediate gathering place of the Saints and 
rejoiced at its goodliness. The land was a prairie of 
deep, fertile soil and covered with a fragrant and 
many-colored growth of flowers. Along the edges of 
the streams, timber in great abundance and variety 
grew, and scattered among this was an underbrush and 
shrubbery that bore grapes, nuts, crab-apples, persim- 
mons and berries of all kinds. 

The land was indeed beautiful, and was a fit gath- 
ering place for the Saints. By their industry they 
would, if unmolested, build up a great civilization there 
and make it indeed a Zion. The future seemed very 
bright. Joseph and his companions knew that the Lord 
had promised the land to His people as an eternal inher- 
itance, but fortunately they did not know of tjie (feeds 


of violence, the murders and awful crimes to be com- 
mitted there before the Saints should build the holy 
city of peace. 

August 2, 1831, under Joseph's direction, Sidney 
Rigdon dedicated the land of Zion by prayer as the 
gathering place of the Saints, and at the same time 
twelve men, in honor of the twelve tribes of Israel, 
carried and set in place a log for the first house to be 
built there. This was twelve miles west of Independ- 
ence, about where Kansas City, Missouri, now stands. 
On the following day Joseph dedicated the spot where 
the temple is to be built, a little west of Independence. 
Eight men were present. The fifth conference of the 
Church was held, as the Lord had promised, in the land 
of Zion. It was on the 4th of August. The congrega- 
tion was made up mainly of the Saints who had come 
from Colesville, New York, led by Newel Knight. 

On August 9th, the Prophet and ten Elders set 
out down the Missouri river in canoes, but on the third 
dav Elder \Y. \Y. Phelps, saw Satan in a frightful form, 
riding on the waters, and it was revealed to Joseph that 
they should not trust themselves on the river but travel 
on land. In company with Oliver Cowdery and Sidney 
Rigdon the Prophet reached Kirtland, August 27th, 
having been absent a little over two months and having 
traveled two thousand miles, much of the distance on 






JOSEPH was now in Ohio, and for a number of years 
he made his home there. The Saints were in two 
bodies ; one part gathered about Kirtland, a few miles 
from Lake Erie in the north-eastern corner of Ohio, 
and the other about Independence on the western bor- 
der of Missouri. It was a journey ot one thosnand 
miles from one stake to the other and yet for about 
eight years they were separated. Why did they remain 
apart? Since that time the Saints have kept together. 
Now when they have grown in strength and numbers, 
colonies go out and make homes in Mexico and Canada 
and other places, and yet the headquarters of the 
Church and most of the Saints are in Utah. Why did 
not all in Ohio move to Missouri, the land which the 
Lord had said was Zion? He had good reasons for 
keeping some of the Saints at Kirtland, and you will 
understand them if you go on with this work. 

Joseph was not rich, and though he could make 
more when he turned his mind to business, yet the 
Lord needed his energy and time for work of a good 
deal more importance. So instead of building himself 
a home he went to live at the house of John Johnson at 
Hiram, Portage County, about thirty-five miles south- 
east of Kirtland. Sidney Rigdon went with him and 


together they worked on the translation of the Bible, 
Joseph translating and Sidney writing. 

But there were many other things to do besides 
translate. W. W. Phelps was sent back to Missoui to 
begin publishing a monthly paper called the Evening 
and Morning Star. Oliver Cowdery went back also 
taking with him the revelations that Joseph had re- 
ceived, and the Prophet was busy gathering them. 
Many special conferences were held, many revela- 
tions were received, and much of the time was spent in 
preaching the Gospel. 

A special conference was held October 25th of 
this year, 1831, at Orange, Cuyahoga County. There 
were present, twelve High Priests, seventeen Elders 
four Priests, three Teachers, and four Deacons, besides 
a large congregation, so you see that most of the 
grades of the Priesthood were represented. It is 
interesting to know that James A. Garfield, who later 
became President of the United States, was born at this 
place about three weeks after the conference was held. 

One day during meeting Joseph had a revelation 
from the Lord. After it was given those present began 
talking about revelations. It must have seemed an 
easy thing to some of them for the Prophet to speak 
out what the Lord was revealing to him, and they 
thought they could do it as well as he. The Lord saw 
what was in their hearts and revealed through Joseph 
that the wisest among them might try to make up a 
revelation. Wm. E. McLellin considered that he was 
the wisest, and tried to write a commandment, but he 
made a dismal failure. He could not imitate the words 
of Jesus Christ even in the least of His commandments. 
A fter that attempt all those who saw it felt sure that 
Toseph was a true Prophet. 

When the Church was organized in 1830 the Lord 


did not command that all the officers should be ap- 
pointed at once. But as the knowledge and needs of 
the people increased, He revealed the other offices in 
the Church and Priesthood. Joseph was not immedi- 
ately made President with two counselors. For a long 
time there was no quorum of Twelve Apostles or of 
Seventy. Men had to be proved, before they could be 
put into such positions. When the proper time came 
Joseph was directed to fil up the offices until at length 
the organization was complete. 

It was nearly a year, you remember, after the or- 
ganization of the Church that Edward Partridge was 
called to be the first Bishop. He went to Missouri and 
made his home with the Saints there, and Newel K. 
Whitney was afterwards appointed, on December 4, 
1831, to be Bishop at Kirtland. At this time Joseph re- 
ceived a revelation telling what the duties of Bishop 

For a year and a half the Prophet had not been dis- 
turbed by mobs. When he left Colesville the last time 
he began to enjoy some peace. But Satan could not be 
idle very long while Joseph Smith was alive and free, 
and an opportunity soon came to injure the Prophet. 
Ezra Booth apostatized and began to lie about him and 
to fight the Church. The truth is that Satan finds his 
best tools in the apostates. The devil, you know, is one 
himself — he apostatized in heaven, and he knows well 
how to use a person who has denied the faith. 

This Ezra Booth had been a Methodist priest, but 
was converted by seeing some one suddenly healed. He 
was like Simon, the sorcerer, who offered the ancient 
apostles money for the power to confer the Holy Ghost, 
He wanted the Priesthood, not that he might bless peo- 
ple but that he might smite them and compel them to 
believe and thus make a great display. When he found 


that he must be humble and pure if he obtained power 
in the Priesthood he left the Church and wrote false 
letters to make the people hate Joseph. 

Others at Hiram apostatized also and became very 
bitter enemies. They were even filled with the spirit of 
murder that they might destroy the servants of God — 
men cannot be worse than that. 

Emma Smith had twin babies that she had adopted 
when they were only nine days old. In the spring of 
1832, when they were nearly a year old they caught the 
measles. On the night of March 25th, Joseph sat up 
with the sicker child until late and then lay down beside 
it on the trundle-bed and fell asleep. A scream of 
"murder!" from Emma waked him. He was in the 
hands of the mob and they were dragging him through 
the door. He loosened one foot from their hold and 
kicked one ruffian in the face and sent him sprawling 
clown the door-step, with blood spurting from his nose. 
But there were too many for him, and he could not get 
free. They cursed him and choked him until he fainted. 

When he came to, they were away from the house. 
Sidney Rigdon was lying on the ground, where they 
had dragged him by the feet over the rough ground. 
He was lying there as if dead. They held Joseph off 
the ground so that he could not spring. They knew 
how strong and active he was. The leaders of the 
mob were holding a council to decide what to do. 

They brought a tar bucket and tried to push the 
paddle, all covered with tar, into his mouth, but he 
twisted his head so that they could only smear it over 
his lips and face. Then they tried to poison him with 
nitric acid, but the bottle broke against his teeth and the 
acid ran to the ground. But the most horrible thing 
was now to come. They rent his clothes from his body 
and suddenly one fell upon him like a fury and with his 


nails tore the Prophet's flesh, and taking God's name in 
vain he said, "That's the way the Holy Ghost falls on 
folks." Then they covered his body with tar, and fled. 

Slowly Joseph made his way home to Father John- 
son's house. When Emma saw him she fainted. They 
gave him a blanket to cover him and he went into the 
room where friends were waiting - with Emma. They 
spent the rest of the night in cleaning the tar from his 
wounded body. Next morning was the Sabbath, and he 
went to meeting. Standing up boldly before some of 
the very men who had tried to murder him, he preached 
a powerful sermon, and in the afternoon baptized three 

The spirit of the mob did not die out, they contin- 
ued to threaten and vex the Prophet and those about 
him. Sidney was out of his head for two or three clays 
on account of being dragged over the frozen ground, 
but as soon as he was well enough he hurried away with 
his sick family from Hiram. One of Joseph's twin 
babies died from catching cold on that dreadful night, 
and two days after its death, on the 1st of April, Joseph 
left for Missouri, in company with Sidney Ridgon, 
Newel K. Whitney, Peter Whitmer and Jesse Gauge. 
He arranged for Emma to stay at Bishop Whitney's 





JOSEPH'S visit to Missouri in the spring of 1832 
was not alone to escape the mob, although his life 
was in danger in Ohio. It seemed necessary for him to 
see and encourage the Saints in Zion and to attend 
to other matters. 

The little party hurried away from Kirtland and 
the bad men who wished to kill them followed. Thus 
they went until they reached Cincinnati, when their 
enemies gave up the chase. On the journey the boat 
on which the brethren rode caught fire twice, but no 
one was hurt. Joseph during his life had many ad- 

Two days after reaching Independence, on the 
twenty-sixth of April, a general council of the Church 
was held, and Joseph Smith, Jr., was sustained as 
President of the High Priesthood. The Prophet had 
been ordained to this position at a conference in Am- 
herst, Ohio, January 25, 1832, and when the Saints in 
Zion accepted him he stood at the head of the Church 
as President. You remember that Joseph was ac- 
cepted as first Elder when the Church was organized, 
and he had continued to preside over and to lead it. 
But now the Lord desired to make the organization 
more complete, and he was called to be President and 


Frederick G. Williams to be counselor to him, though 
Elder Williams was not ordained to this position until 
a year later. 

While the Prophet was at Independence much 
other business was carried on, and the most important 
of this was the order to print three thousand copies of 
the Book of Commandments. This was the first book 
containing the revelations from the Lord to the Proph- 
et. At a later time these were printed in the Doctrine 
and Covenants. At the same conference Elders W. W. 
Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer were ap- 
pointed to review and prepare for the press such reve- 
lations as should be deemed proper for publication. 

After a very pleasant two weeks' visit among the 
Saints Joseph departed for home. His journey was 
made most of the way in a stage. The great railroads 
now running through the states of Missouri, Illinois, 
Indiana and Ohio were unheard of then. Only the year 
before, 1831, the first engine and train of cars in Amer- 
ica were run over a fifteen-mile track westward from 
the city of Baltimore in Maryland. So you see that it 
took many clays to go the distance that can be trav- 
eled in one day now, and there was certainly far less 
comfort and perhaps even less safety in traveling by 
stage than by railroad. 

On this particular journey, while passing through 
the southern part of Indiana, Joseph and his compan- 
ions had a thrilling adventure and serious accident. 
The stage horses became frightened and ran away. 
It was very dangerous to remain inside, for the high 
coach was likely to be tipped over and wrecked, and they 
also found it dangerous to get out. Joseph and Bishop 
Whitney tried it, and Joseph reached the ground safe- 
lv. Bishop Whitney, however, was not so fortunate. 
His foot slipped into the swiftly whirling wheel and the 


bones of his foot and leg were twisted and broken, and 
then he dropped, limp and bleeding into the road. 

Joseph took his friend to an inn at Greenville and 
for nearly a month cared for him tenderly. At the end 
of this time the Prophet rose one day from the table, 
walked to the door and began vomiting frightfully. 
Blood and poison came up, and so violent was the retch- 
ing that his jaw was thrown out of place, and the 
poison acted so powerfully on him that it loosened his 
hair. With his own hands he replaced his jaw and 
then hurried to Bishop Whitney's bed. Bishop Whitney 
laid his hands upon his head and rebuked the evil 
power that was afflicting him, and instantly he was 
completely healed. 

But what was to be done now? Bishop Whitney 
had not yet been able to move his broken leg from the 
bed, and of course the Prophet would not leave him. 
He walked into a grove near by to think. About him 
were fresh graves. He had seen them before, but now 
he knew what they meant. Suddenly the inspiration 
of the Lord came upon him and he hurried back to the 

He told Brother Whitney that if he would agree 
to set out in the morning, a wagon would take them to 
the river where a ferry would be waiting to cross. Here 
a hack would carry them to the landing, where a boat 
would be just ready to sail. By eleven o'clock they 
should be going up the river and would at length reach 
home in safety. Bishop Whitney's faith was strong 
and he agreed. 

They left the inn next morning and all happened 
just as the Prophet had said, though he had made no 
arrangements and knew nothing of the times of sailing. 
Bishop Whitney was very glad that he had been will- 
ing to accept the promises of the Lord punctually. If 


he had waited until evening or the next morning or un- 
til his foot was well, there might have heen two more 
new graves in the wood near Porter's inn at Greenville, 

After Joseph reached Kirtland he busied himself 
with the translation of the scriptures and the many, 
many duties that filled his life and made it such a busy 
one. He was receiving important revelations, writing 
letters, organizing and teaching a school for the faithful 
Elders at Kirtland, called the School of the Prophets, 
preaching the Gospel, and providing for his family. 
You may well believe he was busy. 

In the fall he took a short trip east with Bishop 
Whitney and visited Albany. Xew York and Boston. 
When he returned, Xov. 6, 1832, he found that a baby 
boy had just come to his home a few hours before. This 
was the first of his own children that lived, and he 
named it after himself, Joseph Smith. The Prophet 
builded great hopes upon his boy, but they have not 
been realized. 

Two days after he reached home, he was working 
in the woods chopping down trees when two strangers 
came to him. They were large, noble looking men, and 
a little older than he. Their names were Brigham 
Young and Heber C. Kimball. There in the forest these 
men of God met, with the beautiful leaves of autumn 
above them, and no kings ever came together under a 
canopy of cloth of gold that were so great or so good 
or so important as they. 

Brigham and Heber had traveled three hundred 
miles by team to see Joseph and they were not disap- 
pointed. Joseph with his prophetic eye saw that they 
were mighty spirits, and he knew and said that Brig- 
ham would sometime preside over the Church. While 
they were still together the gift of tongues came upon 


Brigham and he spoke. It was the first time Joseph had 
ever heard the gift, and he was filled with joy. He un- 
derstood the meaning of what Brigham had spoken, 
and said it was the language used by Adam and those 
who lived before God confused the tongues of the 
builders at the tower of Babel. 

Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were both 
born in Vermont, Joseph's native state, in June, 1801, 
Brigham's birthday being the first of the month and 
Heber 's the fourteenth. Both moved to New York, as 
did Joseph, and there heard the Gospel. April 14, 1832, 
Brother Young was baptized, and on the following day 
Brother Kimball came into the Church. After their 
visit to Joseph they returned home to arrange their af- 
fairs in order to gather with the Saints. 

During the winter the Prophet received a number 
of important revelations. Ode was given Christmas 
day, 1832, concerning war/ Joseph prophesied that 
there should be a rebellion beginning in South Carolina, 
which should lead to a war between the Northern and 
the Southern States. He said that the Southern States 
should call on Great Britain, that slaves should rise 
against their masters and be trained for war, and death 
and misery should come to many souls. 

Just twenty-eight years after this, in December, 
I860, South Carolina withdrew from the Union and 
other states followed. On the twelfth of April, 1861, in 
South Carolina began the rebellion in awful earnest by 
the Southern soldiers firing on Fort Sumter. The 
Southern States did call on Great Britain, and began 
the war relying on that nation's aid, although they did 
not receive the help expected. President Lincoln, in a 
proclamation September 22, 1862, said that all slaves 
should be free, and many were then trained as soldiers 
to fight their Southern masters. The war did cause 


the utmost death and misery — about one million men 
were slain, and how many millions were left in misery 
and sorrow ! And thus was fulfilled to the letter what 
God had shown to His servant Joseph, and Joseph had 
spoken to the world. / 

Another revelation that you have heard much 
about was given m February. It is what we call the 
Word of Wisdom. If the children of men would only 
obey this Word, how much knowledge and health and 
happiness and beauty we should have, and how little 
sorrow and ugliness and crime! 

When Joseph was accepted as President of the 
Church, you remember that Frederick G. Williams was 
called to be a counselor, and later Sidney Ridgon was 
also named by the Lord. At a meeting of the School 
of the Prophets, March 18, 1833, Joseph set these two 
men apart ; Sidney as first counselor and Frederick as 
second. The presiding quorum of the Church was now 
complete, and Jesus and a host of angels appeared be- 
fore the faithful Elders present to show that God was 






ALMOST in the center of the United States is Mis- 
souri, one of the most fruitful states of the Mis- 
sissippi valley. It is a beautiful land with its dales and 
hills and woodland. The great Missouri river flows 


through it and the mighty Mississippi, passing by its 
eastern side, carries its grains and other products to 
the sea. 

It has had a wonderful past, but its future will be 
more wonderful. Father Adam lived in that land with 
Mother Eve in their innocence, and they lived there 
after their transgression. In this day God commanded 
His Saints to gather there soon after the organization 
of the Church. They obeyed, but were soon robbed 
and scourged, some killed and the rest driven away. 
Later, when the Civil War came, more blood was 
spilled, and the worst form of war was there, because 
the people were divided and slew one another. 

But the future of the state of Missouri is the most 
interesting to us. If the Latter-day Saints obey the 
commandments of the Lord He will soon begin to pre- 
pare the land of Zion for them, just as He would have 
prepared the land of promise by sending hornets before 
Israel, if Israel had been faithful. There in Jackson 
County the holy city will be set up as the capital of 
God's kingdom. 

On the sixth of April, 1833, the Missuori Saints, 
thinking of the happy future, came together on the 
bank of the Big Blue river to celebrate the birthday of 
the Church. It was just the opening of spring and all 
about them was beautiful. They were happy, for by 
hard work they were making themselves prosperous. 
They owned their homes, and though they were poor, 
yet the prospects for all were very bright. 

God in His wisdom does not permit us always to 
see what is before us. If those Saints could have 
looked upon the dark, gloomy years ahead, they would 
have been sad indeed. Soon after the meeting of the 
sixth of April a mob of about three hundred men col- 
lected in Independence to make a plan to drive away 


the Saints. They thought it right on such an occasion 
to drink a good deal of liquor so that their very worst 
feelings might rule, but they were too generous with 
themselves. They became drunk and broke up in a 
general fight. A few of the leading Elders met to- 
gether when the mob assembled and prayed that they 
should do nothing to harm the Saints. This prayer, 
you see, was answered. 

No more was done by the mob until July, and then, 
through the efforts of ministers and those who called 
themselves religious men, the people were again stirred 
up. Minister Pixley was one of the most zealous liars 
among the enemies of the Saints, and it was greatly due 
to him that they renewed their persecution. On the 
twentieth of July a massmeeting was held, and among 
the five hundred men present were some of the prom- 
inent officials of the state. 

Col. Richard Simpson was chairman and Col. Sam- 
uel D. Lucas was one of the secretaries. The meeting 
resolved that no more "Mormons" should come into 
Jackson County, that the "Mormons" there should sell 
their property and move out, that the Evening and 
Morning Star should be published no longer, and that 
those who would not obey this order should be referred 
to their brethren who had "the gift of divination and 
of unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that 
awaits them." 

The main reasons given for these resolutions were 
that the Saints were poor, they were growing in num- 
bers, and the mob feared they were what in those days 
were called abolitionists, that is, those who wished the 
government to stop men from holding slaves. The 
Saints were from the East and North. They of course 
held no slaves and hated the system of slavery. And 
yet they were moderate. The constitution permitted 


men to hold slaves and the Saints had no desire or 
intention to run over the constitution. 

In those days the people of the South were very 
jealous of their right to hold the black men, and looked 
with great suspicion on the Northerners. This was 
shown during the persecution of the Saints in Mis- 
souri, and as the Prophet Joseph foretold, it grew and 
grew until it ended in a bloody war. 

A committee of twelve was appointed by the meet- 
ing to see the leading Elders and report in two hours 
whether they would accept the terms or not. Truly the 
mob were expecting much when they demanded that 
four or five men should agree in about one hour's time 
that one thousand two hundred souls should be driven 
from their homes. 

Edward Partridge, W. W. Phelps, Sidney Gilbert 
and others were seen by the committee, but the brethren 
asked for more time. The committee refused and re- 
turned to the meeting. When the mob heard their re- 
port it was decided by a vote of all to destroy the print- 
ing office and steal the press and type. They went to 
Elder Phelps' house where the printing was carried on, 
drove his family into the street, although Sister Phelps 
was nursing a sick baby, and then tore down the house. 
They stole press, type and paper and all else they 
wanted, and destroyed the rest. 

These Missouri ruffians doubtless enjoyed this very 
much, but it did not satisfy them, they wanted a little 
rougher sport, and their pleasure was the pain and suf- 
fering of others. They* found Bishop Partridge at his 
home, dragged him to the court-house, and tarred and 
feathered him, because he would net deny the faith or 
leave the country. Elder Charles Allen suffered the 
same treatment. With the tar was mixed some acid, 
unslaked lime or lve, and it burned into the flesh. But 


these brethren were so filled with the love of God that 
they felt no hate or bitterness toward their enemies. 

Lieutenant Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, who was 
next to the highest officer in the state, saw all this law- 
lessness and outrage, and when it was done he coolly 
said to the Saints, "You now know what our Jackson 
boys can do, and you must leave the country." 

Three days later, on July 23rd, the mob met again, 
armed and carrying a red flag like the band of anarch- 
ists that they were. The Saints knew that bloodshed 
would follow if they did not consent to leave, so they 
promised that half would go by January 1, 1834, and 
the other half by the first of the next April, and the 
committee for the mob said that no more violence 
should be done them. 

Oliver Cowdery was immediately sent to Kirtland 
as a messenger to Joseph and the Saints there, and 
sometime later W. W. Phelps and Orson Hyde were 
sent to Jefferson City to ask Governor Daniel Dunklin 
for help. They told him of the things you have just 
read about, and the many other threats and injuries the 
Saints had suffered. He said that the attorney-general 
of the state, the man whose duty it is to advise on points 
of law, was absent, but when he returned the governor 
promised to write an answer. 

About a month after the petition was written, the 
governor's answer reached the Saints at Independence. 
He said that no citizens have a right to take the law into 
their own hands. "Such conduct strikes at the very 
existence of society and subverts the foundation on 
which it is based." But he said that he could not per- 
suade himself that any portion of the citizens of Mis- 
souri needed force to teach them this. Governor Dunk- 
lin should have looked more closely at the written state- 
ments of the mob, which Elders Phelps and Hyde en- 


closed in the petition. The mob's words were: "In- 
tending as we do to rid our society (of the 'Mormons'), 
peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must, we deem it of 
highest importance to form ourselves into a company 
for the better and easier accomplishment of our pur- 
pose." This same statement was repeated in other 

The governor advised the Saints to have their ene- 
mies arrested and tried by law in the ordinary way. 
He said that justices of the peace could issue war- 
rants. But the trouble was that they would not. 
Throughout Governor Dunklin's term of office he filled 
his letters with patriotic words, but he did not restore 
the Saints to their homes and rights. He was perhaps 
sincere in his desire to do right, but he lacked vigor and 
strength and waited for extraordinary troubles to mend 
themselves in an ordinary way instead of doing his 
duty bravely and with determination. At least, Gov- 
ernor Dunklin was not the lawless brute that was Lil- 
burn W. Boggs who became governor after him. 





THE Saints in Jackson County, taking the advice of 
the governor, prepared to try by the common meth- 
ods of law to gain their rights, and they relied on his 
promise to use force if these means failed. They hired 


four prominent lawyers and paid them one thousand 
dollars for their work. How glad we are that they did 
this ! They showed that they loved peace and were 
seeking it by all means in their power. And this is one 
more testimony against Missouri. 

But at the time, this action of the Saints only made 
matters worse. Lawyers Wood, Reese, Doniphan and 
Atchison, wrote under date of October 30, 1833, agree- 
ing to work for the Saints, and on the night of the fol- 
lowing day, as soon as the news had spread, the mob 
came together. There was a branch of the Church on 
the west bank of the Big Blue river and this the mob 
chose to attack. 

It was night, and the little lone settlement off in 
the wilderness was at peace. Suddenly fifty armed 
men whose hearts were full of cruelty appeared, and 
before the Saints could gather to defend themselves it 
was too late. They broke into the houses, cursing peo- 
ple with awful oaths. The children and their mothers 
were terrified and ran out into the darkness to hide in 
the brush with the wild beasts. The fathers could not 
even go with them, but were caught and whipped and 
knocked down with clubs. When the bleak morning 
came they crept back, but their houses were torn down, 
their homes ruined. 

Gray, cheerless November had come. The voices 
of the wind and storm were loud and boisterous. The 
signs of winter were fast appearing. At such a sea- 
son it was pleasant to gather in the evening about the 
blazing, crackling fire in the great, open hearth and 
eniov its cheerfulness. But this was not the lot of 
the Saints in Zion. 

Night after night without ruth or mercy the mob 
broke into the homes and drove out men and women, 
the sick and a^cd. the little children, and sometimes not 


daring to go into the houses themselves, the cowards 
threw stones through the windows. So you see when 
the Saints went to bed they knew not what horrible 
scene might be before them when they awoke. How 
earnestly those little children must have prayed for God 
to keep them safe during their sleep, and when morn- 
ing came for Him to guard them through the day 1 Do 
you think you are as earnest in your prayers ? 

On the night of November 1st, the mob was very 
busy. The men were divided into groups of fifteen or 
twenty who went about breaking into houses and 
thrusting poles through the windows. Another body 
of men, who loved to fill their pockets with stolen 
goods better than hear the screams of frightened chil- 
dren, gathered about Gilbert & Whitney's store. They 
burst in through three doors and took what they 
wished, and scattered other goods about the streets. 

When a little band of brethren came up to stop 
the robbery nearly all the mob scampered off like sneak- 
thieves, though one of them named Richard McCarty 
was captured. The brethren took him before Justice 
of the Peace Samuel Weston, but this officer would is- 
sue no warrant for his arrest, and so he was set free, 
although he was caught in the very act of the crime. 

On the next day the Saints in Independence left 
their homes and camped out together on the prairie, 
taking as many of the things that were left as they 
could carry. The mob, therefore, went to the settle- 
ment on the Big Blue river to continue their work. 
In one house David Bennett lay sick. If the mob had 
been made up of the wildest men of the darkest jungle 
of Africa they could hardly have been more savage. 
Thev dragged him from his bed, almost beat him to 
death, and shot him in the head with a pistol, but the 
injur}- was not fatal. One of the mob was wounded 


that night, perhaps by one of his companions, but it was 
blamed upon the Saints, of course. 

Upon hearing of this the enemy grew very angry. 
The Saints had been so long-suffering that they were 
no longer expected to use the right of every human 
being to defend himself. The mob said openly that 
Monday would be a bloody day. Many of the leaders 
were religious men, and were required to be at Sunday 
service. Perhaps because they did not wish to miss 
anything, the murder was put off until Monday instead 
of being carried out at once. 

This general slaughter was probably prevented by 
the determination of the brethren that they would 
fight, if fight they must. A company of thirty carry- 
ing seventeen guns met sixty of the mob who had 
turned their horses in Whitmer's cornfield and were 
hunting a little body of brethren who had fled. The 
mob cursed and opened fire, wounding a number of the 
Saints. The fire was quickly returned and two of the 
mob fell dead, and the rest, leaving their horses and 
dead companions, broke into flight. 

Two of the brethren, Andrew Barber and Philo 
Dibble, were wounded very seriously. Philo Dibble 
was healed by the blessing of God and he lived to come 
to Utah with the Saints. He passed away only re- 
centlv. Brother Barber died next day and he became 
the first martyr in this dispensation — unless we call 
the little foster-babe of Joseph's a martyr. It died, 
you remember, from the effects of mob violence. 

How different was Brother Barber's death from 
that of the two mobocrats ! He gave his life in de- 
fense of his brethren, and greater love than that no 
man hath. The others died while trying to murder inno- 
cent men. And when the brethren went to them as 
they lay dead and deserted in their own blood, they 


were filled with strange feelings, for they remembered 
what one of these, Hugh Brazeale, had said during his 
life: "With ten fellows I will wade to my knees in 
blood, but that I will drive the 'Mormons' from Jack- 
son County." 

This battle took place about sunset. Rumors were 
at once hurried off to all parts of the country with all 
manner of false reports, such as that the "Mormons" 
had taken Independence and were joined by the Indians 
from across the border. The people rose in arms. Some 
prepared to come in the morning, others gathered in 
Independence that night. 

They ordered the arrest of Sidney Gilbert and oth- 
ers who had caught the thief McCarty the preceding 
Friday night, charging them with assault. Of course, 
they knew that this was not justice — it was the easiest 
method of persecution. While the brethren were be- 
ing tried, the mob gathered and cursed and made the 
worst threats, and the prisoners were taken to jail to 
save their lives. They were fired on but were not hit, 
and the next morning were all set free. 

On this day, Tuesday, the 5th of November, one of 
the greatest wrongs ever done to a body of citizens in 
the United States took place. Lieutenant-Governor 
Boggs organized the mob into state militia and placed 
them under Colonel Pitcher, one of the bitterest ene- 
mies of the Saints. This man called for all the fire 
arms the Saints owned, and took them away, directly 
contrary to the second amendment of the constitution 
of the United States. He ordered the Church to go 
from the country at once and to give up the men who 
took part in the battle the day before to be tried for 

The Saints, not wishing to resist the authority of the 
state, and believing that Lieutenant-Governor Boggs 


was an honorable man instead of the traitor and mur- 
derer they found him to be, did not resist. They relied 
on his false promise that the arms should be taken from 
their enemies as well. But, of course, this was never 
intended. The Saints were deceived. They gave up 
the only thing that kept the mob from falling upon 
them. But what an example they set ! They preferred 
to suffer wrong rather than do wrong. Their religion 
was the Gospel of peace. They had the courage of 
martyrs, the bravery of heroes, and yet throughout all 
the Missouri persecution they fought only as the last 
means of saving wives and children and friends. 





LOXG, long ago, before we were born, before any 
man on earth was born, a great and terrible war 
was fought. This was in Heaven, between God, our 
Eternal and Heavenly Father, and a disobedient son, 
who lusted after more power. The army of the Lord 
was stronger, whipped Lucifier and his angels and cast 
them down to hell. 

Some on the Lord's side were very valiant, brave 
spirits, others were not so brave; and some, perhaps, 
followed the Lord merely because He was more power- 
ful and not because of real love for Him. These last, 


when placed on earth, are easy tools for Satan, and 
wherever God sets up His work, Lucifer uses them in 
his efforts to destroy it. 

This struggle in Missouri was just a new hattle 
of the old war, and it seemed as though Satan's tools 
were very thick there and were of the worst. kind. In 
one sense the evil one was victor. The Saints were 
driven from Jackson County, and then from place to 
place until they fled from the state to save their lives. 
And yet the Lord's power is far greater than Satan's, 
and if He had willed it, the persecution would not have 
taken place ; but He let it go on because the Saints did 
not obey all His laws and prepare themselves to build 
up the holy city. 

When, according to Col. Pitcher's order, the weap- 
ons of the people were given up, the mob — now state 
soldiers — acted like a legion of devils. They rushed in 
companies on foot and horseback from place to place, 
stealing, pulling down houses, threatening to murder 
women and children, and tying men to trees and beat- 
ing* them. Ministers took an active part, and Rev. 
Isaac McCoy with his gun on his shoulder led one band. 

Out on the wild prairie scattered all who could 
escape, and there they wandered, homeless and torn 
from their loved ones. Darkness came, and through 
the crisp air of the November night the stars shone 
down upon their misery. A few^ halted at dawn on the 
hank of the Missouri river and little by little their 
numbers grew. Each day more came to join them at 
the ferry, bringing what they could carry from their 
ruined homes. 

A great part of the Saints crossed the river into 
Clay County, some went into VanBuren and Lafayette 
Counties and some scattered in other directions. Jack- 
son proved not the only county where unkindness was 


known. And almost all the Saints except those in Clay 
were driven again. The people in Clay did show some 
Christian feeling and let the Saints remain. 

About a week after the terrible attack of the mob 
militia, before dawn on the morning of November 13th, 
all the heavens began to glow with splendid light. Stars 
shot from their places, leaving behind them a radiant 
train. All the colors of the rainbow were seen. It was 
like the most magnificent play of the northern lights. 
The Saints could easily see this glorious sight — few had 
roofs over their heads to prevent. They rejoiced, for 
they took it as a sign of God's glory, and it certainly 
was. Their enemies saw it also, and they, believing like 
the Saints that the Lord of hosts was showing His 
power, were terrified. 

Just as soon as the leading brethren could cross 
the river, they sent out a sworn statement of all that 
the mob had done, to Governor Dunklin. He ordered a 
special court of inquiry to be held at once. This was 
done and Col. Pitcher was arrested for court-martial 
because he had taken the arms from the Saints. 

The governor said he would restore the Saints to 
their homes by force if they wished it, but that he 
could not keep the soldiers there to protect them. They 
themselves had no weapons, and of course did not care 
to go back and be butchered by the mob. They asked 
to be organized into a militia, but though this was legal 
it was never done. 

They sent petitions to President Andrew Jackson, 
asking that the United States troops might be sta- 
tioned in Jackson County to protect them. The sol- 
diers had to be placed along the frontier somewhere, 
and the Saints thought if placed there, the mob would 
not dare to do any violence. The president would not in- 
terfere, saying he had no authority to act in this case. 


On other occasions President Jackson was not so par- 
ticular about authority when lie wanted to carry out his 
plans. What an exhibition of weakness in our govern- 
ment ! The governor of Missouri and the president of 
the United States both seemed willing to do what the 
law would permit, and yet over one thousand people 
were driven from their homes and kept away, although 
they used all the lawful means to regain them. 

It was a terrible winter for the Saints in Missouri. 
All the comforts they had gathered about them were 
gone. They not only were without proper shelter from 
the storms, but even lacked food. And while they were 
in this condition, across the Missouri river the mobs 
were tearing down and burning their empty houses and 
destroying their harvested crops. During one week in 
the spring of 1834, one hundred and fifty homes were 
consumed by fire. 

In the latter part of February a regular court of 
inquiry was held in Jackson County, and about a dozen 
of the brethren were called as witnesses. A company 
of state soldiers went out with them as a guard. No 
sooner had they reached Independence, however, than a 
strong mob gathered and they were hurried back to 
Clay County without going into court at all. Blood 
would certainly have been spilled if they had stayed. 

The court found Col. Pitcher guilty of calling out 
the militia to crush an uprising when there was no up- 
rising to crush, and of making the Saints give up their 
arms when they were at peace. When Governor Dunk- 
lin received this report he ordered that the arms be re- 
turned. His orders were not regarded, and here is 
where his weakness was shown — a strong man would 
have enforced his own proper commands. Instead of 
being given back, the arms were divided among the 
mob, and the Saints never did obtain them. 


On the clay following the entrance into Missouri of 
/ion's Camp, of which you are later to hear much, on 
the 5th of June, 1834, the brethren wrote to Governor 
Dunklin telling him that the Saints were ready to be 
taken back to their homes in Jackson County. You 
remember that he had. promised to protect them until 
they were again settled, but no longer. They had now 
obtained new arms, Zion's Camp was coming to help 
them, and they believed they could now protect them- 
selves if the mob should rise again to hurt them. 

In answering, the governor said that a clearer 
right did not exist than that of the "Mormon" people, 
who were exiled from their homes in Jackson County, 
to return and live on their lands. But instead of rais- 
ing troops to go back with the Saints, he tried to per- 
suade them to come to some terms with their enemies. 

Through the efforts of him and other prominent 
men a meeting was held on the 16th of June in Clay 
County between members of the mob and members of 
the Church. Different proposals were made but none 
were accepted. The mob offered to buy the lands of 
the Saints if they would promise that no "Mormons" 
should ever come back, but God had commanded them 
to build Zion there, and they could not promise that. 
The Saints offered to buy. the lands of all those who 
did not wish to live in the same county with them, but 
this did not suit the mob. The meeting grew very ex- 
citing and ended by one of the mob stabbing another. 

It was an important gathering, for though no 
agreement was reached it showed the governor his plain 
duty. But excitement and mystery were in the air. 
Zion's Camp was near and the people did not know 
what to expect. 





DURING the year of trouble in Missouri, the 
Prophet Joseph Smith was not idle. He could not 
be with the western Saints to share their suffering, but 
he sent them many letters bearing counsel and the word 
of the Lord when it came to him. He did not stay 
away on account of fear. Once when he heard of the 
terrible cruelties of the mob his generous heart was so 
moved that he wept aloud, "O, my brethren, my breth- 
ren, would that I had been with you to share your fate. 
Almighty God, what shall we do in such a trial as this !" 
Much evil is spoken of Joseph Smith, but even his ene- 
mies say he was brave. * 

On the 23rd of July, 1833, the very day, you re- 
member, that the mob, carrying a red flag, gathered in 
Independence to make the Saints promise to leave the 
country, the foundation stones of the Lord's house were 
laid at Kirtland. In a former chapter you were told 
that the Lord had a good reason for having part 
of the Church at Kirtland and part in Missouri. You 
probably begin now to see what it is. 

In the autumn of 1833 Joseph went on a mission- 
ary journey to New York and Canada in company with 
Sidney Rigdon and Freeman Nickerson. They left 
Kirtland October 5th and were gone just a month. Al- 


most every day they had a chance to preach and some- 
times to baptize. Their work was very successful, for 
they not only gained souls at the time but prepared the 
ground for a future harvest. 

One night way up there in Canada they held a 
meeting in the village oi Colburn. The snow fell heav- 
ily, but in spite of this the people came together. It 
was a humble room lighted by flickering candles. Joseph 
and Sidney tried to tell the people the message of life 
eternal, but one man was there who made up his mind 
that they should fail. He was a Wesleyan Methodist. 
When the meeting had begun he became very noisy. 
He talked in a loud voice, but there was no sense in 
what he said. Joseph and Sidney replied to him in an 
earnest, quiet way, speaking words of truth and wisdom 
instead of falsehood as he had done, and of course they 
overcame him. 

At Mount Pleasant sixteen persons were baptized 
in two days, and the signs promised by Jesus did follow 
the believers. The Holy Ghost rested upon them, and 
under its influence one sister spoke in tongues. The 
Saints were all glad when they saw that this was the 
same dear old Gospel that our Savior preached. 

When the Prophet returned to Kirtland he sent 
many messages to the brethren and sisters in Missouri, 
but he himself was kept in Ohio, and it was a very busy 
winter for him. In December Oliver Cowdery and 
Bishop Whitney brought to Kirtland a new printing 
press, for although the Saints could not publish the 
Evening and Morning Star in Jackson County, they 
did not intend to stop printing entirely. The new 
press was set up. It was decided to publish the Star 
again, and Oliver Cowdery was made editor. The office 
w£s dedicated, December 18th. 

On the 17th of February, 1834, the first High 



Council of the Church was formed at Kirtland. This 
was made up of twelve High Priests, and Joseph and 
his two counselors presided over it. The purpose of 
such a body was to try those who commit sin, for their 
standing in the Church, and also that the Saints would 
have no need of going to law when any difficulty arose 
among them. These men holding the Priesthood were 
called to hear and discuss all cases, and then the presi- 
dent made his decision. If a mistake was found in 
this, it could be changed. In ordinary trials two mem- 
bers were appointed, one to speak on each side. If the 
case was more difficult two were to speak on each side, 
and if very important, three, but no more than three 
could ever speak on a side. 

Since that time many High Councils have been 
formed, and now, as you all know, every stake in Zion 
has one. The President of the Church can no longer 
preside because he has too many other duties, but the 
president of each stake holds the position in the council 
of his stake. These are very important because there 
are no money charges, and poor men can have justice, 
as all men can, for the judgments are given according 
to the laws of God. 

Soon after this work was done Joseph began to 
seek volunteers for a journey to Missouri. The Lord 
had commanded him in a revelation to gather the 
young men and the middle-aged and to receive dona- 
tions of money from the Saints. He promised that if 
faith and purity were shown by His people He would 
redeem Zion, and the money was taken that new pur- 
chases of land might be made, and those in distress 

Joseph started in on this work February 26, 1834. 
He and Parley P. Pratt traveled eastward from place 
to place, preaching and telling the Saints that the Lord 


wished volunteers and money. They were successful in 
many places. Sidney Rigdon and others went out also. 
They returned after a month's work. 

Soon after they reached Kirtland, Joseph was 
called into court as a witness against Doctor P. Hurl- 
burt, an apostate, who had been threatening to kill him. 
Of course it was a very unpleasant thing for the 
Prophet and still there was nothing else to do. This 
man was found guilty of threatening to murder, and 
on the 9th of April he was put under two-hundred dol- 
lar bonds to keep the peace, and fined three hundred 
dollars — to pay the costs of the court. 

During the rest of this month Joseph was holding 
meetings and preparing for Zion's Camp, as the men, 
who went to Missouri at this time, are called. On the 
1st of May over twenty men, with four baggage 
wagons, were ready to leave Kirtland. They set out 
and traveled about fifty miles, to New Portage, where 
they waited until the others came up. 

President Wilford Woodruff was in this first party. 
He had been baptized 'on the last day of the year 1833, 
at Richland, New York, and on April 25th he came to 
Kirtland as a volunteer. Some of you readers have' 
probably heard him tell of his meeting Joseph and how 
he lent the Prophet his sword to carry to Missouri as 
the leader of Zion's Camp. President Woodruff served 
faithfully in this mission as he did on every other dur- 
ing his life, and the friendship that began then between 
him and Joseph will last throughout eternity. 

Two days after the first party left Kirtland, Joseph 
followed with the main body of the Camp. When the 
two joined they numbered over one hundred and fifty 
men. Joseph at once began to organize his little band. 
Companies of twelve were formed, and each chose its 
own captain, who gave the men under him their special 
duties. General officers were also appointed. 


The twenty wagons taken by the Camp were heav- 
ily loaded with provisions and such things as the poor 
Saints in Missouri needed. Xo room was left for the 
men ; they had to walk along at the side. They had 
their guns, pistols and other weapons, but these were 
only for self-defense. This was a body of the Priest- 
hood, called by God to go out, not for conquest or 
plunder, but to protect and minister comfort to those 
in great need. 






ON the evening of the 8th of May, 1834, Zion's 
Camp slowly made its way into a beautiful grove 
at the end of its first day's journey. Each captain 
chose a camping spot for his company, the firemen 
builded up crackling fires, the cooks began to prepare 
food, the horsemen unhitched the horses and tended 
them, the watermen brought pure water from the 
brook, the tent-makers pitched the tents and the run- 
ners went on errands or carried messages. You see 
that each man had his own work and all was orderly. 
After supper was over and darkness had come, the 
Camp gathered about the fires — for the spring air was 
chillv — and talked of the great work before them. They 
imav havf Jooked up at the glorious stars and thought 


of the splendor and the power of the One who made 
these great bodies and set them in their place, and re- 
joiced that they were giving up much to do His work. 

Suddenly a trumpet sounded, the hour of prayer 
and sleep had come. In a moment each man was on 
his knees thanking God for the blessings of the day, 
asking Him for the blessings of the night, praying Him 
for the suffering Saints of Zion, for His work every- 
where, and for the loved ones at home. Then they 
lay down to rest and the Camp of Zion was still. 

When the spring morning dawned, before the sun 
rose over the Ohio hills, the men were again astir, each 
busy at his own work. Again the trumpet sounded and 
again each kneeled and offered prayer. Breakfast 
was prepared and eaten, the horses were hitched to 
the wagons and at a given signal the Camp moved 
forward on its way. 

And thus they went, filled for the most part with 
zeal and brotherly love, and willing to endure all things. 
Sometimes they walked in the heat of the day until 
their feet bled. Often their enemies were thick about 
them, and guards had to be set at night to keep the 
Camp from those who would fall upon it in the dark- 
ness. But angels traveled with them, as the Lord had 
promised, and they saw them. Their enemies were 
often frightened and at one place counted five hundred, 
although at the time the Camp numbered less than two 
hundred men. 

The blessings of the Lord were shown in many 
other ways. Once, at the end of a hot June day, they 
pitched their tents on a broad, treeless prairie, over 
which they had traveled all day long. They were very 
thirsty, for the plain had no water upon it and the 
supply they carried had been gome since morning. 
When Joseph saw the suffering about him he, called 


' for a spade, and picking out a place which all could 
easily reach, he dug a shallow well. Water at once 
flowed into it and the two hundred men and fifty or 
more horses and mules drank from it. Plenty of water 
was in the well as long as the Camp stayed there. 

Perhaps you have read about the children of Israel 
thirsting in the wilderness and grumbling sorely at 
Moses. At the Lord's command he struck a rock with 
his rod and water poured forth and all Israel drank of 
it. But Moses committed sin here, for he spoke as if 
he and Aaron had done this, instead of giving God the 

This miracle was more showy than the one in 
Zion's Camp but it was in one sense no greater. The 
brethren were not complaining and they did not need 
to be startled by some sudden sign. But the Lord 
made the water flow in both cases to give His children 
drink, and I believe the men of Zion's Camp were more 
truly thankful than were the Israelites. 

Just before the Camp passed from Illinois across 
the Mississippi river into Missouri, Joseph with Brig- 
ham Young and others went up on one of the mounds 
in the neighborhood to obtain a view of the great river, 
called the Father of Waters. Here they found an altar 
built according to the ancient style, and from its foot 
they dug up the skeleton of a man. They were sur- 
prised to find an arrow-head between the ribs. It was 
revealed to the Prophet that this was the remains of 
Zelph, a white Lamanite and a mighty man of God, 
who had fought as a chieftain under the Prophet Oman- 
dagus. He was killed in battle during the last great 
struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites. Of course we 
know it was not in the last battle of the struggle, be- 
cause that was fought around the Hill Cumorah. What 
a glorious gift is the inspiration of God ! 


It was not until the Camp had crossed the Missis- 
sippi that any trouble arose. Of course enemies had 
often been near, rivers were often deep, roads were 
often long and rough, but these were all from without 
— God would protect and care for His servants in such 
conditions and they could not, therefore, be called 
troubles. But now real trouble came ; it was sin within 
the Camp, and God would not protect them from that. 
Only their union and faith had secured their safety in 
the past. SjJ vp-srgr^Smith openly rebelled against 
Joseph and the order of tKe"Camp, and others joined 
with him. The Prophet warned them that the Lord 
would punish with a heavy scourge, and He did. 

As soon as the,y reached Missouri, Hyrum Smith 
and Lvman Wight came with volunteers to join them, 
and the Camp now numbered two hundred and five 
men, with twenty-five heavily laden wagons. For a few 
days thev remained at Salt river to rest, and here 
Lyman Wight was made their general. Twenty men 
were also picked out, with Hyrum as captain, to be a 
body-guard to the Prophet, for they were now in a 
country where different men had sworn they would 
murder him. 

After this little rest the Camp traveled on until 
July 18th, when they stopped for the night one mile 
from Richmond, Ray County. They expected here to 
meet an army of their enemies, as the mob had threat- 
ened to lie in wait for them at this place. But at day- 
light the next morning the Camp passed quietly through 
the town before the people were awake. 

They had not gone far on the prairie before a 
wagon broke down. The)'' stopped and repaired it, but 
had hardly started again when a wheel ran off another 
wagon. And so it went all day long. At night, in- 
stead of being over in Clay County, as they had hoped 


to be, they were only on the Fishing river in Ray. 
This was a small stream flowing- into the Missouri and 
at this point was divided into seven branches. Be- 
tween two of these, on a high piece of ground, they 
halted and prepared to spend the night. 

Soon after they stopped, five armed men rode up 
and said, with many an oath, that the Camp should see 
hell before morning. Sixty men, they said, were com- 
ing from Richmond and seventy from Clay County, 
and they had sworn utterly to destroy the Camp. With 
this warning they rode away. The afternoon had been 
very fair, but as night came on black clouds rose from 
the west and covered the whole sky. 

You ought now to know what was going on out- 
side of Zion's Camp. No doubt you remember the 
meeting between the Jackson County Saints and the 
Tackson County mob that was held in Clay County, 
June 16, 1834. Governor Dunklin and other men 
wished the Saints to give way and sell their land, but 
this they would not do, and the meeting was broken up 
by a stabbing affair in the mob. 

James Campbell and Samuel C. Owens, with ten 
other angry men, left the meeting, jumped into a boat 
and began to row across the Missouri. They wished 
to reach Jackson County in order to raise an army to 
l°ad out against Zion's Camp. James Campbell, while 
strapping on his pistols before starting, said, with a 
bold swagger, 'The eagles and turkey buzzards shall 
eat mv flesh if I do not fix Joe Smith and his army so 
that their skins will not hold shucks, before two days 
are passed." 

How little this man thought of his fate when he 
^ooke these terrible words ! That night the angel of 
death overturned the boat in the middle of the river. 
Tames Campbell and six others were drowned and the 


rest barely escaped with their lives. Samuel Owens 
floated four miles down stream and landed on an island. 
Early in the morning* he stripped off his clothes and 
swam to the Jackson shore where he borrowed a gar- 
ment to cover his nakedness, and, as Joseph says, 
"slipped home rather shy of the vengeance of God." 
James Campbell's skeleton was found on a pile of 
drift-wood in the river, three weeks later, and the birds 
of prey had in reality torn off and eaten his flesh. 

But there were plenty of men left in Jackson Coun- 
ty to call the mob to arms. This misfortune was no 
lesson to them. They rode over the county telling the 
men that the "Mormon" army had come and they 
would have to turn out to meet it. This was a welcome 
message, for these were the wild, lawless spirits always 
found on the frontier. They were used to spilling 
blood, and they thought themselves very bold and brave. 
And so they gathered at the appointed time on the bank 
of the Missouri, armed with dirks and pistols and guns, 
hoping to kill Joseph Smith and his followers and se- 
cure the plunder. 





SHORTLY before sunset on the 19th of June, 1834, 
two hundred armed men stood on the southern 
bank of the Missouri river ready to cross. Seventy 
armed men waited for them on the opposite shore, and 
sixty more, also armed, were marching from Richmond, 


Ray County, to meet them. Many of these were ruffians 
of the worst stripe ; they had tied up innocent men and 
whipped them almost to death, they had frightened 
women and children out into the darkness and cold, 
and torn down or burned their houses. Some of 
them were murderers and all now had murder in their 

A few miles away was another band of two hun- 
dred men, just at this time pitching their tents and 
preparing to spend the night. These had some weapons, 
also, but were not so heavily armed as were the others. 
What they had, however, were near at hand and ready 
for use, for an attack was expected at any moment. 

This was a body of God-fearing men, who. had 
come from afar, bringing food to the hungry and cloth- 
ing to those in need. They hoped also to help their 
brethren and sisters home to their lands in Jackson 
County. These men held the Priesthood of the Lord 
of hosts ; they had come at His command ; they would 
not have harmed an animal purposely, and certainly not 
a human being; but they were determined not to be 
robbed and killed, and they were ready to fight to the 
death in self-defense. 

If God in His wisdom had seen fit to let the mob 
come on, blood would have flowed like water, and 
martyr and murderer would have died together. But 
He had another fate for His servants than to die there 
at the hands of blood-thirsty Missourians. This was 
the hour to show His power. He spoke to the winds 
and they went rushing over the whole heaven, bearing 
the black clouds that gathered at His call. He com- 
manded the lightning and the rain and the hail, and 
they obeyed. 

Within a few miles of the Camp of Zion on every 
side, the hurricane raged. The great hail-storm beat 


down fields of corn and cut off branches from the trees, 
and the wind in many places twisted the trunks to 
splinters. Lightning flashed through the heaven all 
night long in great* zigzag streaks, thunder crashed, 
and the earth shook. 

The puny, weak creatures who had a few hours 
before defied God's work lost all their boldness and 
quailed at the sight of His anger. The rain wet them 
to the skin and spoiled their ammunition. The hail cut 
holes through their clothing and bruised their bodies. 
All who could, ran to their homes or hunted nearer 
shelter. Forty of the two hundred from Jackson 
County had crossed the [Missouri and the boat had gone 
back for more when the storm came up. Of course 
the forty were very anxious to go back home then, but 
they could not swim the great river, and so spent the 
night with the storm beating down upon them, thinking 
over their own bad lives. 

In Zion's Camp no hail fell, and there was little 
wind and rain. A few tents were blown down and 
some of the brethren were wet. Many found shelter in 
an old meetinghouse, and Joseph sent them to pay for 
the use of this on the following day. The storm did 
not frighten the brethren. They knew the Lord had 
raised it, not to harm them but to keep them from harm. 
When morning came they found great streams of water 
flowing between them and their enemies. Big Fishing 
river which was only ankle deep the night before was 
now forty feet in depth, and men from the mob said 
that Little Fishing river rose thirty feet in thirty min- 

That day the Camp moved about five miles to a 
place where it would be harder to attack them, and 
stayed three days. While there, Colonel Sconce with 
two other men rode up. They came into the Camp, and 


when they were face to face with Joseph and the breth- 
ren the officer trembled so much that he could not 
stand up. After his nervousness had somewhat passed 
away he rose and asked what the Camp intended to do. 
He said he had led armed men from Ray County to fall 
upon the Camp, but the storm had driven him back, and 
he knew that an Almighty Power was protecting this 

The Prophet answered him. He said that the 
Camp had come one thousand miles to bring supplies 
to their friends and to help them back to their homes. 
They hated bloodshed and their firearms were brought 
only to defend themselves. They intended to obey all 
laws and harm nobody. He told the sad story of the 
pitiful sufferings of the Jackson County Saints, and 
when he ended Colonel Sconce and his friends were in 
tears. These men were like Paul, the Apostle ; they 
had tried to destroy the truth, believing it was evil. As 
soon as they learned that they had done wrong they 
sought to undo it. They rode over the country and told 
the people the truth about Joseph Smith and his fol- 

Cornelius Gillium, sheriff of Clay County, also 
visited them, and after learning why they had come he 
told them about the people and the country and advised 
them how to avoid trouble. After leaving, Air. Gil- 
lium published a true report of what he had learned. 

Again on the twenty-third of June the Camp 
moved, now going toward Liberty, Clay County. Be- 
fore they reached the town General Atchison, who, as 
you know, was employed by the Jackson Saints as 
lawyer, met them. He with other leading men came 
out to urge Joseph not to pass through Liberty, as they 
feared trouble. Of course it would have been silly 
after this warning to run chances of rousing a mob, 


so the Camp turned, passed by Liberty, and pitched 
their tents that night at the end of their journey, on 
Rush creek, among the Saints. 

You remember that when Sylvester Smith and 
others rebelled against the Prophet, about three weeks 
before this, Joseph told them the Lord would scourge 
the Camp. And now the scourge came in the form 
of cholera. Two or three cases had appeared as a kind 
of warning before the Camp reached Rush creek, and 
Joseph foretold what would come. He said he was 
sorry, but he could not help it. 

On the following day, June 24th, the terrible dis- 
ease broke out in earnest and continued four days. 
There were about sixty-eight cases, and thirteen per- 
sons died. Elder John S. Carter tried to rebuke the dis- 
ease, but it at once seized him and he died. Joseph laid 
on hands and commanded it to depart from one of 
those afflicted. The disease did leave but came upon 
the Prophet. At the same time Hyrum was struck 

Three times they kneeled and prayed for their 
lives, and the last time they made up their minds to 
keep on until they were healed. While they were 
pleading with the Lord, Hyrum saw in vision their 
mother back in Kirtland praying for her absent boys. 
God listened to her prayer and theirs, and they rose up 
well and strong again. 

The Prophet learned a great lesson at this time. 
He knew that the Lord was going to punish the Camp 
in this way and he should not have tried to interfere 
with the Lord's purposes by using his Priesthood to 
hinder them. 

Among those who died was Algernon Sidney Gil- 
bert, who had charge of the Lord's store-house. He 
was an able, useful man, and had shown much bravery 


in the Jackson County troubles, but now he brought his 
own death upon him. The Prophet called him to go 
with others to Kirtland and after receiving his endow- 
ments to go on a mission. Brother Gilbert had suffered 
much from those outside the Church and was filled 
with a wrong spirit toward them. He answered that 
he would rather die than preach the Gospel to the Gen- 
tiles. God took him at his word, the cholera came upon 
him and he died. 

These were terrible days. Men who were stand- 
ing guard about the Camp fell down at their posts, and 
groans from those in agony came from all sides. Many 
faithful men suffered, as well as some who were to 
blame for the scourge. But the true and obedient ones 
who were smitten will have their reward. The Camp 
was not united, therefore it was punished. At last a 
cure was found for the disease, and that was to put a 
person into cold water or pour it over him. 

But while the cholera was still raging . in the 
Cam]), excitement and unrest were running high out- 
side. To stop this Joseph announced publicly that he 
would disband those who had come to Missouri with 
him, and this he did on the twenty-fifth of Ttm e^ JJgj-L 
nearly two months after the first party leftTvfrtTand. 
The Prophet knew, too, for the Lord revealed it to him, 
that though the Camp had been successful in bringing 
food and clothing to the Saints, it could not help them 
back to their homes. The Church in Missouri had 
failed to keep saintly union and faith that must be 
possessed by those who build up and inherit the center 
stake of Zion. 

On the first of July Joseph crossed the Missouri 
Hth some of the brethren and went to Independence. 
He saw the same land that the Lord had dedicated as 
Zion three vears before, now entirely in the hands of 

YouKg People's history of joseph smith. 99 

the wicked. It must have made him sad, but he did 
not lose courage. It was not the part of a fearful man 
to go into Jackson County as Joseph did. True, he was 
not known very well in that neighborhood, but if he 
had been recognized it would probably have meant 

Two days later he organized a High Council in 
Clay County, for the Saints in Missouri. This was 
formed like the Council at Kirtland, only David Whit- 
mer and two counselors presided in place of the Presi- 
dency of the Church. After visiting another week 
among the Saints the Prophet set out for home. He 
reached Kirtland alone about the first of August, after 
a wearisome journey and after three months of hardest 
toil' and of most valuable experience. 






MUCH sorrow was felt by the Church because Zion's 
Camp was not permitted to. help the Saints back 
to Jackson County, and thus redeem Zion — and yet no 
one was sorry that the brethren had gone to Missouri. 
It was soon seen that this journey was a trial for cer- 
tain men before they were called to be Seventies and 
Twelve Apostles. Perhaps also on account of the will- 


ingness of so many and the sufferings they went 
through, the Lord blessed the Church for three years 
with much peace. 

This was a time when mighty things were done. 
The Priesthood was more fully organized, the temple 
was dedicated, and the Gospel began to spread more 
rapidly. Soon after the Prophet Joseph came to Kirt- 
land he sent forth Elders and Priests and he himself 
went for a short time to Michigan. With Hyrum and 
others he set out by steamer on Lake Erie, and while 
on their way they had a laughable experience. One of 
the passengers named Elmer told them he knew Joe 
Smith very well, and he was glad now that he was dead. 
He said Joe Smith was a dark complexioned man, and 
he had heard him preach his lies in Bainbridge, New 
York, five years before. That man was a pretty bad 
liar himself. Joseph was not dead ; he was light com- 
plexioned ; he had not begun preaching five years be- 
fore, and he had never been in Bainbridge. 

During the fall and winter much work was done 
on the temple at Kirtland. The people were very poor, 
but they did their best, as the Saints have done in Utah 
— when they had no money to help on the Lord's work 
they gave their labor and their time. Joseph worked 
as foreman of the stone quarry, and Hyrum, Brigham, 
Heber, and others took up their humble toil with him. 

Besides this work, High Council meetings were 
held very often, and the School of the Prophets was 
begun again. It was a busy time for Joseph, but he 
had this motto, and he made it a rule for his future life, 
"When the Lord commands, do it." By obeying the 
Lord without delay he was able to do much more work 
than if he had put things off, just as you boys and girls 
can do more work by obeying your fathers and mothers 
at once. 


One Sabbath afternoon in February, 1835, Brig- 
ham and Joseph Young came to the Prophet's house 
after meeting to sing for him. They had very sweet 
voices and he loved to hear their hymns. After they 
had sung, he told them that he had seen the glory of 
those men who had died of cholera in Zion's Camp and 
their reward was very great. They talked over the 
journey to Zion, and Joseph wept. The Spirit of the: 
Lord came upon him and he said that the Twelve 
Apostles were to be chosen and Brigham should be one 
of them. He said al^o to Joseph Young, "The Lord has 
made vou President of the Seventies." 

That week the Prophet called a meeting of all who 
went with Zion's Camp, on the 14th of February. 
Fifty-six of these men and many other Saints came 
together. Joseph told them that the time had come 
when the Twelve Apostles should be chosen, and if the 
Saints were willing, the three witnesses to the Book of 
Mormon would pick them out. In one of the early 
chapters, you were told who these men are, but if you 
have forgotten, look them up and read their testimonies 
in the forepart of your Book of Mormon. 

The Saints voted for them to do it. Each one 
prayed that God would pour down His Spirit upon 
them that they might know and do His will. Then 
they named these twelve men : Thomas B. Marsh, 
David W. Patten. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, 
Orson Hvde, William E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt, 
Luke Johnson, William Smith, Orson Pratt, John F. 
Bovnton and Lyman E. Johnson. This was not the 
order at the time, but the Prophet arranged them later 
according to age, the eldest being first. Now, you 
know, the Apostles stand in the quorum according to 
the time they were appointed, and the president is the 
one who lias been longest an Apostle, 


The Church had been organized nearly five years 
now, but as you have seen in other matters the Lord 
was in no hurry to fill up all the offices at once. He in 
His wisdom chose the time. And yet the calling of the 
Apostles was no new thought with the Prophet. Even 
before the Church was organized it was revealed that 
there should be twelve like the Apostles that were with 

There was a greater need for the Twelve at this 
time than there had been before, because now the great 
missionary movement was beginning, and the work of 
the Apostles is to direct this. Besides there were now 
in the Church men who could be trusted with this office, 
and though six of the first twelve were not faithful, the 
other half remained true and held their positions when 
they died and will hold them throughout eternity. 

On the last day of this same month of February, 
forty-five members of Zion's Camp were chosen as 'the 
beginning of the first quorum of Seventy. Among 
these were George A. Smith, Jedediah M. Grant, Joseph 
Young, and Levi W. Hancock. Brother Smith became 
later an Apostle, Brother Grant a counselor to Presi- 
dent Young, and the other two were presidents of the 
Seventies quorums throughout the Church. 

The Seventies were called to go out and preach 
the Gospel under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, 
iust as the Seventy in ancient times were sent out by 
Jesus. When this degree of the Priesthood was begun, 
the organization of the Church was almost completed, 
and so when you say that the Church was organized 
April 6, 1830, remember that it was only partly organ- 
ized then. 

In the early days of May the Apostles started on 
their missions. They were absent half a year and not 
onlv preached but gave much attention to forming con- 


ferences. As time passed by they learned their duties 
and responsibilities. The Prophet Joseph said shortly 
after their return: "The Twelve are not subject to 
any other than the First Presidency, and where I am 
not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve." 
This is one of the most important doctrines in the 
Church ; when Joseph died, Sidney Rigdon was not the 
rightful leader ; the Twelve Apostles stood at the head 
of the Church. 

During the summer of 1835 a man came to Kirt- 
land with four mummies and some rolls of Egyptian 
writing. These had been found in a great tomb way 
off in Egypt, and it seems almost by accident had been 
brought to the Prophet, and yet of course the Lord was 
guiding them. Joseph took the rolls of Egyptian paper 
and translated the writing better than any of the 
learned men who had tried before. The owner, Mr. 
Chandler, gave him a certificate that his translation 
agreed with theirs but was fuller. Some of the breth- 
ren boueht the mummies, and Joseph by the aid of the 
Soirit of God translated the writing and it was later 
printed in the Pearl of Great Price. 

Soon after the Twelve returned from their mis- 
sion, a very sad thing happened. William Smith, 
Joseph's brother and one of the Apostles, grew angry 
at the Prophet over a small matter in a Hisfh Council 
meeting and disturbed the meeting and hurt Joseph's 
feeline bv his unrulv conduct. He renentpd but not 
verv thoroughlv, for two weeks later while Joseph was 
visitmof at his house he again grew angry, and struck 
and ininred him. On the 1st of Januarv, 1836, a meet- 
ing was held by Joseoh, Hyrum, William and their 
father and nncle. William's feelings were again soft- 
pned and he asked Toseoh's forgiveness and this 
foseph gladlv gave. The Prophet was always ready to 


go more than half way to gain peace and good feeling, 
and if we grow like him and like Jesus we must do 
the same. 




DO you remember in one of the early chapters of this 
book it was said that when Joseph began trans- 
lating the Book of Mormon he could not spell so well as 
an ordinary schoolboy of these days? His ignorance 
was not because he was dull or lazy. His energies were 
spent in the field and forest, and he did not live among 
people who wrote much or had much knowledge of 
books. Just as soon, though, as he began spending his 
time in the Lord's service, his learning grew very fast. 
In translating the Book of Mormon Joseph was in 
the best school a man could attend. The Holy Ghost, 
which is the spirit of intelligence, inspired his mind 
and he read and understood a strange language en- 
tirely different from our own. When he- finished this 
work he probably had more knowledge of the Egyptian 
writing than any other man living. The work on the 
Book of Mormon gave him also a better grasp and 
understanding of English, and caused within him a 
thirst for learning that was never quenched. His work 
in rewriting the Bible helped him very much, and when 


he translated the books and writings of Abraham and 
Moses from the Egyptian found on the papyrus with 
the mummies, he was a well educated man. He under- 
stood much concerning the movement of stars and 
heavenly bodies, and more important, he knew that in 
the past many of them were worlds like ours and are 
now as ours will be. He understood how people should 
be governed. And the highest knowledge of all — he 
knew our Father in Heaven, better than did any- one 
else on earth. 

Think what a blessing this last is I If a bright boy 
works with an intelligent man whom he admires very 
much, it is not long until he begins to look at matters 
just as his older friend does. When that friend is the 
Lord and the boy is any righteous human being, this 
same thing happens, only when we look at matters as 
the Lord looks at them we are not led astray by the 
opinions of men, but we see the absolute, the whole 

The Prophet was now a man thirty years old, and 
yet with all the other duties he found time to go to 
school. He studied a number of subjects but was per- 
haps most interested in Hebrew. A fine Jewish scholar 
was employed to teach the brethren at Kirtland, and 
this man said he had never seen a class learn so quickly. 
The Prophet loved education and true knowledge, and 
even in the hardest troubles found time to study. He 
set the example, children, every one of you follow it 
through life. Study hard and learn all that is true and 
good and beautiful, and your lives will be far more 
happy and far more useful. 

We have come now to one of the great reasons 
why God did not direct all of His Saints to go to Mis- 
souri but kept a part of them for a number of years in 
Kirtland. He permitted some to go to Jackson County 


and buy land there and begin to build up Zion. The 
Saints were not righteous enough to prevail against the 
persecutions of their enemies and were driven away 
from their land. But the feeling was left in their 
hearts, and in the hearts of their children and in the 
hearts of all true Latter-day Saints, that we have a 
claim on Jackson County, and it will be the greatest 
joy of our lives to go back and redeem Zion, in the 
Lord's own time. 

Now our Father in Heaven in His mercy kept 
some of the Saints in Kirtland where they could build 
a temple to Him and receive the holy ordinances and 
blessings that had been revealed to few people on earth. 

It was in July, 1833, that the corner stones of this 
first temple built in latter days were laid. March 27, 
1836, was the clay on which it was dedicated, so you 
see that less than three years were used in building it. 
The Salt Lake temple was forty years being built, but 
it is far larger and more costly than was the one at 

Before the dedication many glorious things took 
1)1 ace that prepared the leading Elders and the Prophet 
for the great event. One night, in the latter part of 
January, the First Presidency and some of the Elders 
from Missouri as well as from Kirtland came together 
for the purpose of anointing one another. Joseph and 
his counselors first poured oil on the head of Joseph 
Smith, Sen., the Patriarch of the Church, and he in turn 
blessed them. 

But the anointings were not the only matters of 
importance that took place in the unfinished temple that 
winter night. Angels drew aside the curtains of heav- 
en, and the host that dwelled there and our Redeemer 
Jesus were seen. The Elders shouted hosannah and 
glorv to Cod in the highest, and their souls were filled 


with infinite joy. The Prophet saw in visions the celes- 
tial kingdom of God, and the flaming gates through 
which the heirs of the kingdom will enter. He saw 
the glorious throne whereon the Father and Son were 
seated. He beheld within the beautiful city, Fathers 
Adam and Abraham, his own parents and his brother 
Alvin who had died years before. 

He was astonished to see his brother there, be- 
cause he had passed away before the Gospel was re- 
stored, but the Lord declared that all who had died 
without hearing the Gospel, who would have accepted 
it if they had heard it, will be heirs to the celestial 
kingdom. Alvin was not enjoying celestial glory at the 
time of this vision. The Prophet was of course behold- 
ing the future, as at this time his parents were both 
alive, but the doctrine of baptism for the dead had not 
been revealed, and so the Lord answered him in this 
way. The explanation is perfectly true. Honest, pure 
souls who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel 
are heirs to the kingdom. And yet they can not enter 
it until baptism has been performed by their relatives 
or friends here on earth. 

The glorious meeting did not end until two o'clock 
in the morning, and the next night the Elders again 
met. The Twelve Apostles and presidents of Seventies 
also met with them and received their anointings and 
blessings. Once more angels ministered unto them 
and mingled their voices in shouts of praise. The gift 
of tongues came upon the Elders and they had another 
spiritual feast. A week later High Priests, Seventies 
and Elders assembled to be blessed and anointed, and 
like visions and glorious signs were shown unto them. 

Earlv Sunday morning on the twenty-seventh of 
March, 1836, the Saints of Kirtland with those who 
had come from Missouri and other places for the occa- 


sion made their way to the House of the Lord. They 
waited patiently until eight o'clock, when the doors 
were opened and they were received and seated by the 
Prophet, Oliver Cowdery, and Sidney Rigdon. Less 
than a thousand could enter, for the building was not 
very large. At nine, when the presiding authorities 
were seated on each end of the room, the services began. 
They sang hymns, prayers were offered, Sidney and 
others preached and the congregation voted to sus- 
tain the authorities. President Joseph Smith offered 
the prayer of dedication, and this was sealed by the 
shout from all the Saints who repeated three times, 
"Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb. 
Amen, amen, amen." 

After this there was more speaking, Brigham 
Young and David Patten addressed the Saints in 
tongues, and George A. Smith rose and prophesied. 
Then was heard a rushing like the noise of a mighty 
wind, and a bright pillar of fire rested on the temple. 
Angels filled the room and were seen. The whole body 
of Saints rose to their feet and some spoke in tongues 
and some prophesied, and some saw glorious visions of 
eternity. The people of the neighborhood, hearing the 
rushing sound and seeing the pillar of light, were aston- 
ished and ran to the temple to see this strange thing. 
That night at eleven o'clock the Saints went home, and 
the dedication of the House of the Lord, the first temple 
of the latter days was completed. 

On March 29th, the Prophet with his counselors 
and some other Elders met in the holiest place of the 
temple. There they fasted and prayed and washed each 
other's feet until morning, when they met with all the 
officers of the Church holding the Melchizedek Priest- 
hood. The ordinance of the washing of feet was car- 
vied out through the whole assembley, the sacrament 


was administered, and Joseph told the Priesthood their 
various duties. At nine o'clock in the evening Joseph 
went home to rest after a most joyful night and day 
and left the meeting in the hands of the Apostles. Dur- 
ing the night the gift of tongues came to some, angels 
appeared to others, and others, still more blessed, saw 
the Savior. 

On the following Sunday, the third of April, dur- 
ing afternoon meeting in the temple, Joseph and Oliver 
drew the curtains of the pulpit, thus closing them from 
the congregation, and kneeled in silent prayer. When 
they arose they beheld the Lord standing on the breast- 
work of the pulpit which seemed to be overlaid with 
pure gold. His hair was white as snow, His face was 
brighter than the noon-day sun, and His eyes were like 
flames of fire. He told them that lie had accepted the 
temple, and spoke many blessings on the children of 
men. His voice was like the rushing of great waters. 
After this vision ended, Moses came and committed 
unto them the keys of the gathering of Israel, then 
Elias gave the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham ; 
and Elijah, the Prophet, who was carried to heaven in 
a chariot of fire, conferred the keys of turning the 
hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of 
the children to the fathers. 

These great keys are necessary in this dispensation 
of the Gospel, for this is to be the fulness of times, 
when all that has been in the past will be brought back 
to make the Gospel perfect. Do you wonder why 
Oliver was with Joseph instead of Sidney Rigdon, or 
Frederick G. Williams? Oliver had been ordained by 
Joseph to be an assistant president and so he was at this 
time of equal rank with them. 

During these days of jubilee the Twelve Apostles 
and worthv Elders received their endowments in the 


temple and then scattered out into the ever-widening 
fields of missionary work. Joseph also went out and 
spent two months in gathering the blessed harvest. 





\\/HILE the winds of bleak November, in the fall of 
1833, were howling through the forest, stripping 
from the branches the few remaining leaves, twelve 
hundred robbed and beaten souls made their way from 
the ashes of their former home down to the banks of 
the Missouri river. They crossed, carrying over the 
things they could save, and placed themselves on the 
mercy of the people on the other side. Their landing 
place was Clay County and the inhabitants proved to be 
kind — something new for the Saints to meet in western 

The Clay County people showed considerable sym- 
pathy for the strangers during this winter, and per- 
mitted them to make their home with them. For three 
years the Saints were there, hoping all the time to re- 
turn to Jackson County and using all lawful means — 
from trials in a justice's court to an appeal to the Presi- 
dent of the United States — to gain their homes and 
rights. All efforts seemed to be useless. Governor 
Dunklin was as weak as a child, and more trouble 



seemed to be growing. The Clay County people thought 
that the Saints could never go back and that if they 
did not go away somewhere at once, civil war would 
arise. In those days feeling was very bitter between 
slave holders and those who did not hold slaves. The 
Saints were not slave holders, and they were coming 
into Missouri very fast. The Missourians held slaves 
and were very jealous of the strangers. Then their 
religion, though the purest and best in the world, held 
them from the sympathy of their neighbors. It did 
look as though war might begin between the Saints and 
their enemies, for though our people would have made 
no attack, they would have defended their wives and 
children to the death. 

On the 29th of June, 1836, the citizens of Clay 
County held a meeting and adopted resolutions asking 
the Saints to leave. They did it in a gentle manner, 
saying that they had no right to command the Saints 
to go, but asked it for the good of all. They suggested 
that our people move to Wisconsin or some other place 
where they could be by themselves, but they did not 
expect them to set out before they had sold their prop- 
erty without loss. They offered to help them find a 
place, and appointed a committee to raise funds to aid 
the poor. They also promised to use their influence 
in causing persecution to cease. 

A number of promiment men carried these resolu- 
tions to the Saints, and two days later the leading 
Elders met and acted on them. They agreed to leave, 
but declared that they were innocent of any lawless- 
ness or crime whatever. They thanked the people of 
Clay for their kindness in the past and for their offer 
of help, and in accepting the resolutions asking them to 
leave, they offered their act as a covenant of peace be- 
tween the two people forever. What could show more 


gratitude ? Clay County had been kind to them, though 
no kinder than one Christian should be to another. But 
the Saints — they were leaving their homes and moving 
into the barren wilderness to repay that kindness. 

Word was at once sent to the Prophet at Kirtland, 
and he with his counselors wrote letters to the Saints 
and to the Citizens of Clay. He told our people that 
they should sell their property at as small a sacrifice as 
possible, defend their families 'in case of attack, and 
stand by the Constitution of our country. The letter 
to the Clay County citizens was an eloquent defense of 
the Missouri Saints. It was free from bitterness, 
though filled with deep sorrow that the innocent peo- 
ple should again find it necessary through the lies of 
their enemies to become homeless wanderers. 

Less than three months after they had consented 
to leave, the Saints were on the move. They did not 
go up into Wisconsin, but found a region in the north- 
ern part of Ray County where they could settle. Seven 
men who gathered the honey of wild bees lived there, 
but they were willing to sell out, since the honey was 
about gone. The settlement was made along Shoal 
creek, and though the country was not fertile or beau- 
tiful, the Saints knew it would become so through their 
labors and the blessing of God. 

By December so many had come that they prayed 
the legislature to make a new county of the Shoal creek 
district. This was done, and it was named Caldwell. 
By April of the year 1837, a townsite for Far West had 
been chosen and surveyed, and lots were put up for 
sale. In July the ground was broken and prepared for 
the building of a temple. It was never finished; Mis- 
souri was not worthy of a temple then, but not long 
hence and the .Great House of God will be built there. 
In November, Far West was enlarged to include two 


square miles, and by this time the country was being 
rapidly settled and put under cultivation. 

While the Saints in Missouri were showing the 
world an example of courage and industry seldom 
equaled, matters were not at a standstill at Kirtland. 
Few years in the history of the Church had been hap- 
pier than the year 1836 — the temple was dedicated, the 
Elders endowed and sent out to preach, Joseph went on 
a successful mission to the East, and converts were be- 
ing made very fast. Among these were John Taylor, 
Lorenzo Snow and Willard Richards. 

Elder Taylor received the truth from Parley P. 
Pratt who had been sent to Toronto, Canada. Previous 
to starting upon this mission, Heber C. Kimball, filled 
with the spirit of prophecy, came to Brother Pratt's 
house one night, woke him up, and made a prediction 
concerning the success that would attend him. Pie 
also promised that if he obeyed, his wife would be 
healed and bear a son. Brother Pratt did obey, and this 
was all fulfilled. Elder Taylor had been a Methodist 
minister, but refused to stop preaching what he be- 
lieved to be true, and was reduced to the position of a 
member. After a thorough investigation of the Gospel 
he was baptized and never once wavered in his faith. 
John Taylor was born November 1. 1808, in Milin- 
thorpe, England. He received a good education and 
when only seventeen years old he became a preacher. 
He came to America when he was about twenty-four, 
and settled in Canada, where he heard and accepted the 

Lorenzo Snow was born April 3, 1814, in Mantua, 
Portage County, Ohio. He was on his way to Oberlin 
college when he was first impressed with the Gospel. 
He happened to meet David W. Patten, and in talking 
with him grew much interested in religious ideas. Af- 


ter Elder Snow had finished his work at college, on the 
advice of his sister, Eliza R. Snow, who had already 
joined the Church, he came to Kirtland to study He- 
brew. Soon after this he became convinced of the truth 
of the Gospel, and joined the Church. He was bap- 
tized by Apostle John F. Boynton, in June, 1836, and 
not long after was ordained an Elder and began his life 
work in the ministry of our Savior. 

Dr. Williard Richards, who became an Apostle and 
also second counselor to Brigham Young, was baptized 
on the last day of the year 1836. Heber C. Kimball 
and others spent the afternoon in chopping a large hole 
in the ice, and Brigham Young performed the cere- 
mony. Brother Richards first heard of the Gospel when 
he happened to pick up and open carelessly a Book of 
Mormon. Before he read half a page he declared, "God 
or the devil had a hand in that book, for man never 
wrote it." He read it twice in about ten days and 
then, after selling his medicine and settling his accounts, 
traveled seven hundred miles to Kirtland to study the 
Gospel more closely. He soon came to the knowledge 
of the truth and asked for baptism, though in the dead 
of winter. 

And thus the faithful boughs were being found and 
they soon brought forth blossoms that ripened into 
richest harvest. 




FOR some time previous to the year 1837 there was a 
fever raging over the United States. It was not a 
sickness that hurt the body, but the fever to buy for lit- 
tle and sell for much, and thus grow suddenly rich. It 
was the fever of speculation. Railroad engines had just 
been invented and were so successful that almost every- 
body who had money or could borrow it wished to buy 
railroad stock and make his fortune at once. People be- 
gan moving out westward to the fertile lands of the 
Mississippi valley, and those who could lay their hands 
on money bought large tracts of land, hoping by the 
rise of prices to make immense profits. At this time, 
too, President Andrew Jackson, in order to destroy the 
national bank, took away the public money and placed 
it in private banks. This made it easier to borrow and 
speculation was consequently increased. 

In 1836 the Prophet Joseph and other leading men 
in the Church, desiring to aid the business of the Saints 
in a proper way, established a kind of bank called the 
Kirtland Safety Society. In the beginning of 1837 
actual business was started up and for a time all went 
well. But after a while the spirit of the land seized 
many of the brethren and they began to speculate wild- 
ly. Joseph saw that this would lead to evil and ruin, 
and he gave them serious warning. At length, unwill- 


ing to support anything that was not carried on in 
righteousness, he broke off all connection with the 

The natural result of the speculation in this coun- 
try came in 1837. It was a financial crash and such as 
the people of the United States have never known at 
any other time. Land and railroad stock and other 
kinds of property would rise no higher in price and 
began to come down. Men grew frightened and tried 
to sell, but others were frightened and would not buy, 
so those who held the stocks were ruined, as most spec- 
ulators are sooner or later. Many banks failed because 
they had used the money that people had put in and 
could not pay it back. The Kirtland Safety Society 
also failed. Warren Parrish had stolen twenty thousand 
dollars or more from it, and other apostates and ene- 
mies of the Church fought against it. Many of the 
brethren, however, spent all they had to pay its debts. 

This speculation and the failure and ruin that fol- 
lowed it, caused many men to apostatize from the 
Church and become bitter enemies to Joseph. He had 
warned them, but the lust for. riches had filled their 
souls, driving out the Spirit of God, and they rejected 
his counsel. Yet the Prophet was blamed for the 
failure of the bank, when this was caused by their own 
mistakes and dishonesty. 

Kirtland seemed to be, and no doubt was, filled 
with devils who were making every effort to over- 
throw the Church. It was at this time that the Lord 
directed Joseph to call Heber C. Kimball on a mission 
to England. Of course Brother Kimball accepted this 
new work. He was a man who never flinched before 
a duty. Orson Hyde and Williard Richards, learning 
that he was called, asked to be sent also. On the thir- 
teenth of June, 1837, they departed from Kirtland, and 


on July 1st, accompanied by John Goodson, Isaac Rus- 
sell, John Snider and Joseph Fielding, sailed from New 

The good ship Garrick carried them safely across 
the great Atlantic, and just as the anchor was being 
lowered in the river Mersey, on the morning of July 
20th, up sailed the South America, which left New 
York at the same time under a bet of ten thousand 
dollars. So you see the ship that carried the Elders 
won. Some of the brethren hastened to shore in a row- 
boat, and when they drew near, Heber C. Kimball with 
a great spring reached the landing and stood upon the 
soil of England, the first man bearing the holy Priest- 
hood to set foot upon a foreign land in this dispensation. 

The Elders were now at Liverpool, but they took 
stage at once for Preston, about thirty miles distant. 
As they alighted from the coach, they found themselves 
beneath a waving flag on which was written, "Truth 
will prevail." Queen Victoria had just been seated on 
the throne, and an election was being held for members 
of Parliament. The flag was in honor of the event, but 
the brethren took it as a sign of comfort for them and 
hoped and believed with all their hearts that the words 
would be fulfilled. 

Sunday morning, July 23rd, Rev. James Fielding, 
brother of Joseph Fielding, gave it out in his meeting 
that some ministers from America would speak in the 
afternoon at his chapel. The brethren had not asked 
this favor and were very grateful for the offer. Elders 
Kimball and Hyde spoke, and another meeting was held 
at night. A third meeting was held the following Wed- 
nesday night and then Mr. Fielding closed his doors to 
the Elders. They met, however, at private houses and 
the work was not hindered. Only a week had passed 
when nine persons were ready for baptism. 


That morning Elder Russell was to speak, but up- 
on arising from his bed he was so afflicted with evil 
spirits that he felt he would die unless relieved. He 
came «to Elders Kimball and Hyde and they admin- 
istered to him, but while doing so Brother Kimball was 
knocked senseless to the floor by some unseen power. 
He was laid on the bed and prayed for, but the pain 
was so great that he could not lie down. He fell upon 
his knees and besought God to hear him. 

The eyes of the Elders were opened then, and they 
saw about them a legion of devils, having the form of 
men but showing fiendish hatred in their faces. For 
an hour and a half these gnashed their teeth and 
foamed at the mouth and tried to come near the breth- 
ren, but seemed held back by some power. The Elders 
did not see the Lord, but the Prophet told them later 
that He was there protecting them from harm. With 
all their efforts, the evil spirits did not prevent the 
nine baptisms that Sabbath morning. Neither did they 
hinder the work of the English mission, for it pros- 
pered exceedingly, and when a general conference was 
held the following Christmas day in the "Cock Pit," 
at Preston, the Church in England numbered about 
one thousand souls. 






WHILE these important things were going on in 
England, Joseph, with Sidney Rigdon and Thom- 
as B. Marsh, left Kirtland for a visit to the Saints in 
Canada. When they reached Painesville, a few miles 
distant, their enemies held them all day by bringing 
lawsuits against Joseph on trumped-up charges. The 
sheriff said to Anson Call, who was present, "We don't 
want your Prophet to leave Kirtland, and he shan't 
leave ;" but Brother Call went on Joseph's bond for sev 
enteen hundred dollars, and he was able to go the next 
day. Part of the journey was made by steamer on 
Lake Erie and the brethren slept on deck with valises 
and boots for pillows, but they had health and clear 
consciences and slept in peace. 

They spent a happy month traveling among the 
Canadian branches of the Church and associating with 
John Taylor and tb° other Saints. On their way back, 
in the latter part of August, Joseph and Sidney came 
by wagon from Buffalo to Painesville. While eating 
supper at the house of Mr. Bissell, who had been Jo- 
seph's lawyer, they discovered that a mob had gath- 
ered, and soon learned that the object was their mur- 
der. Their host was a true friend, however, and slipped 
them away by a back path. As soon as the mob found 
they were gone, bonfires were lit and sentinels placed 
along the Mentor road. But Joseph and Sidney took 


to the swamps and the bonfires only helped them find 
their way. 

Sidney, being' sick, was soon worn out, so Joseph 
lifted him on his back and waded for hours through 
mud and water carrying him. What a body and soul 
that Prophet had! He would not desert a friend, 
though he risked his life to save him, and with strength 
like Samson's he carried him mile after mile through 
darkness and swamps. They reached Kirtland in safe- 
ty late at night, and the next day being Sunday, Joseph 
preached a powerful sermon to the Saints. 

Jt was a very sad home-coming for the Prophet. 
The spirit of apostasy was very strong, and some of the 
leading men were found in sin. On the 3rd of Sep- 
tember fellowship was withdrawn from three of the 
Apostles, Lyman and Luke Johnson and John F, 
I'oynton, and Frederick G. Williams was not sustained 
as counselor to Joseph. At the same conference Oliver 
Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, John and Joseph Smith, Sen., 
were made assistant counselors to the Prophet. A 
week later the three Apostles confessed and were re- 
ceived back, but their repentance was very shallow as 
it later proved. 

Joseph spent most of October on a journey to Mis- 
sonri. Sidney was with him and their special mission, 
besides visiting the Saints, was to pick out places for 
the eastern brethren to settle upon witli their families, 
and make homes. The time had about come when Kirt- 
land should be left and the Saints be gathered in one 
place. A conference was held on the 7th of November, 
soon after they came to Far West, and the Missouri 
Saints rejected Frederick G. Williams, and Hyrum 
Smith was made second counselor to Joseph. 

The Prophet reached Kirtland in December and 


the condition there was terrible. Warren Parrish, John 
F. Boynton, Luke Johnson, Joseph Coe and others had 
laid a plot to destroy the Church. These men who had 
received the most glorious visions of heaven now de- 
nied the faith and said Joseph was a false and fallen 
Prophet. Such men as Brigham Young were true to 
him and declared that they knew through the inspira- 
tion of the Holy Ghost that Joseph was a Prophet of 
God. This brought persecution upon them, and Brig- 
ham was compelled to flee for his life, soon after Jo- 
seph came. 

Late on the night of the 12th of January, 1838, 
Joseph and Sidney saddled their horses and rode away 
from Kirtland. All through that winter night they 
rode and did not stop until sixty miles lay between 
them and their enemies. The life of a Prophet is not 
the easiest in the world, is it? They waited there for 
their families and again began their flight. For two 
hundred miles 'human blood-hounds from Kirtland 
tracked them, but the Lord blinded their eyes and the 
Prophet and his party went on unharmed. He reached 
Far West two months later. Some of the brethren had 
gone one hundred and twenty miles to meet him and 
bring him in comfort to Zion. 

In the west as well as in the east, leading men of 
the Church had sinned and fallen. Soon after Joseph's 
coming Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Lyman John- 
son and William E. McLellin were cut off the Church. 
These, with Luke Johnson and John F. Boynton, 
made two of the three witnesses and four of the Twelve 
Apostles that had proved unfaithful. Some time later, 
on the 8th of July of this year, John Taylor, John E. 
Page, Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards were 
called by revelation to be Apostles in the places of the 
fallen ones. 



During the spring and summer the Prophet was 
busy forming stakes and providing for the Saints that 
were coming from Kirtland where confusion and vio- 
lence reigned even in the Temple. On the sixth of July 
five hundred and fifteen of the faithful set out for Mis- 
souri under the leadership of the Seventy quorums. 
The third number of the Elders' Journal was published 
by Joseph at Far West in July. This was a paper that 
had been begun when the Messenger and Advocate 
was stopped. During this same month the great law of 
tithing was given to the Saints. It is recorded in the 
one hundred and nineteenth section of the Doctrine and 
Covenants, and being very short, all of you should 
read it. This law was given because the Saints would 
not obey the law of consecration, which was a higher 
law. The Lord still requires us to obey the law of 
tithing, but after a time if we are worthy we may be 
called to consecrate all we have to Him and hold our 
possessions as stewardships. 




AND now our story plunges into the awful events 
that began in August, 1838, and did not end until 
the spring of 1839 — the time during which the Latter- 
day Saints were driven from Missouri. How much 
dreadful history was made in those dark months ! How 
many men showed the rottenness of their hearts ; and 
how many men and women showed the unutterable suf- 
fering they would endure for the sake of truth ! It was 
a time when some did things that will send their souls 
to the most frightful places in hell, and when others 
earned a place among the companions of God. 

At this time the Latter-day Saints numbered about 
fifteen thousand souls, and were settled mainly in Cald- 
well, Daviess and Carroll Counties. The sixth of Au- 
gust, 1838, was election day, and about twelve of the 
brethren went to the polls at Gallatin, Daviess County, 
to cast their votes. William Penniston, an old enemy 
of the Saints, who was running for one of the offices, 
made a violent speech in order to drive them from the 
polls. Some of his drunken friends attacked the breth- 
ren, but the brave twelve fought like lions with only 
their bare fists. Some of them were badly wounded but 
they pounded the heads of the Missourians so hard 


that the whole one hundred and fifty backed off and ran 
home for their guns. When they saw the mob gather- 
ing, the brethren hurried away. They hid their fam- 
ilies in the hazel bushes and stood guarding them all 
night long in the rain. 

A terrible story came to Far West the next morn- 
ing that the mob had killed some of the brethren and 
would not give up their bodies. Joseph gathered about 
twenty trusty men and started at once for Daviess 
County. When they learned no lives were lost they 
were filled with joy. Matters, however, were bad 
enough and they continued on their way, determined to 
do all they could for the Saints. 

They met a number of leading men of the county 
at Adam-ondi-Ahman, and made with them a covenant 
of peace. Before returning home they also called on 
Adam Black, a justice of the peace. They knew he was 
aiding the mob and wished to persuade him to deal 
justly with the Saints. He was one of those who had 
sold land to our, people, and, like the others, wished 
to get it back without paying for it. They talked earn- 
estly with him and then asked what he would do in the 
future. This is the answer he, of his own free will, 
wrote out to them. 

I Adam Black a justice of the peace of Daviess County 
do hereby Sertify to the people coled Mormin, that he is 
bound to suport the constitution of this State, and of the 
United State, and he is not attached to any mob, nor will 
not attach himself to any such people, and so long as they 
will not molest me, I will not molest them. This 8th day 
of August 1838. 

Adam Black, J. P. 

These movements toward peace did not please the 
mob at all. They thought to themselves, "How can we 
get our land back and drive awav these cursed 'Mor- 


mons' if we agree to be at peace with them?" So Pen- 
niston swore before Judge Austin A. King that Joseph 
Smith and Lyman Wight had come into Daviess Coun- 
ty with a great force of men to drive away all the old 
settlers. The sheriff was immediately sent to arrest 
them and was much surprised to find Joseph at home in 
Far West awaiting him. He was so struck with the 
gentleness of the Prophet that he refused to make the 
arrest, saying that he could act as officer only in his 
own county. 

Although Adam Black had been ashamed of his 
meanness when the Prophet Joseph looked upon him 
with those clear, steady eyes that at other times had 
seen angels and even God Himself, yet when alone he 
was angry at himself and sought revenge. He swore 
that Joseph with one hundred and flty men had come 
to his house and said they would kill him that instant 
unless he signed a paper for them. 

Lilburn W. Boggs was now governor of the state, 
and when he heard what Adam Black said he ordered 
out the state soldiers to restore peace. Joseph knew 
this would mean destruction to the innocent Saints, so 
on the thirtieth of August he offered himself to be tried 
in Daviess County in order to spare them. Lyman 
Wight followed his example. 

That very day he and Sidney Rigdon began to 
study law under Generals Atchison and Doniphan, 
who, you remember, had been engaged as lawyers by 
the Saints in the first Missouri troubles. These men, 
besides being prominent lawyers, were generals in the 
state militia. You will hear much of them later. The 
Prophet no doubt thought that law would be a good 
thing to understand, since he was being arrested so of- 
ten, and he showed his industry and calmness in be- 
ginning it now when so many dangers were about him. 


The trial was held on September 7th. Adam Black 
swore to all manner of lies, and this of course made him 
guilty of perjury. Honest men bore witness that Jo- 
seph and Lyman were innocent, and Judge King ad- 
mitted it outside of court, and yet to satisfy the mob, 
he put them under $500 bonds to keep the peace. These 
they furnished and went home. Two days later, Cap- 
tain William Allred found three men taking guns, pow- 
der and shot from Ray County to the mob in Daviess. 
He arrested them and you may be sure the mob were 
much disappointed when their arms and ammunition 
did not come. 

The mob had come together at a place near Mill- 
port and were making all kinds of threats against the 
Saints. Our people had made up their minds to de- 
fend themselves, and Lyman Wight was made com- 
mander of the forces. The mob tried all kinds of tricks 
to get the Saints to open the attack in order to get 
help from Governor Boggs. They took some of the 
brethren prisoners and gave it out that they were tor- 
turing them. This trick did not work, so William 
Dryden, a justice of the peace, complained that George 
A. Smith and Alanson Ripley would not allow them- 
selves to be arrested and brought before his court. This 
was not true but it served as an excuse for Boggs to 
flood the state soldiers into Daviess County. 

General Doniphan came first. He marched to the 
camp of the mob and ordered them to disperse. They 
promised to do so, but did not keep their word. He 
then went to the camp of the Saints and they offered to 
give up all who might be thought guilty of crime and 
go home peacefully, if the mob would break up. This 
is all that they could have been asked to do, and Gen- 
eral Doniphan seemed satisfied. General Atchison came 
into Daviess County at this time, and, after learning the 


conditions, he wrote to Governor Boggs that peace 
would soon be secured. But the governor, who had 
listened eagerly to all the lies that were being told, or- 
dered up four more generals and heavy troops. Gen- 
eral Parks, one of the four, though an enemy of the 
Saints, wrote to Boggs saying that the Saints were 
trying only to protect themselves. Lyman Wight and 
fifteen or twenty others were called to appear at court 
three weeks later, and peace seemed to have been es- 





mother's FAITH. 

ALTHOUGH the mob had not been able to fall upon 
the Saints in Daviess County at this time, they 
loved blood and plunder too well to remain at peace. 
On the second of October the very same men who had 
begun and kept up the trouble at Daviess, were found 
gathered around the little town of De Witt, Carroll 
County, under the leadership of Dr. Austin, Major Ash- 
ley, a member of the legislature, and Rev. Sashiel 
Woods, a Presbyterian clergyman. They were armed 
with muskets and cannon, and opened fire upon the 
town. The next day General Parks, with two com- 


panies of militia, joined them. Bogart, one of the cap- 
tains, was a rank enemy of the Saints, and the soldiers 
themselves were in close sympathy with the mob. 

After bearing the fire of the enemy for two days, 
the Saints, who were under the command of Col. 
George M. Hinkle, returned it. Though the mob num- 
bered more than our people in De Witt, they dared not 
continue the fight until more of their kind should join 
them. When General Lucas heard that several persons 
had fallen in this battle, he wrote to the governor that 
if one of the citizens of Carroll had been killed, before 
five days five thousand volunteers would be raised 
against the "Mormons/' and those base and degraded 
beings will be exterminated from the face of the earth." 

News came to the Trophet that his brethren in 
Carroll County were in danger, and he hurried away 
with all possible speed toward De Witt. It seemed as 
though he was rushing on to death, for his journey lay 
among his bitterest enemies, and the roads to De Witt 
were guarded by those who would have loved to take 
his life. But his own danger was nothing to him, he 
knew that he could give new hope and courage to the 
Saints, although he did not bear arms. He asked the 
judges of the circuit court and other officers for pro- 
tection to the Saints, but this was useless. Through his 
efforts also, a number of honorable men made sworn 
statements to the governor that the Latter-day Saints 
were innocent and yet were being treated like enemies. 
Boggs, however, would not let the state's forces inter- 

The mob was still afraid to make an open attack, 
feeling it safer to starve the Saints out. They burned 
our people's houses and killed and roasted their cattle, 
while the owners were dying of hunger in the town. It 
was useless to hold out any longer, and the Saintb 


agreed to leave, provided they were paid for their 
homes and property. They did leave, but received 
nothing. It was a terrible flight from De Witt to Far 
West, for the mob would not let them go in peace as 
they agreed. One poor mother, with a baby only a 
day old, tried to follow her friends, but the hardships 
were too great. Before they reached Far West she 
died and was buried, as were many others during that 
flight, without a coffin, at the roadside. 

After they had gone the Rev. Mr. Woods invited 
his friends to go with him to Daviess County and drive 
the Saints from Adam-ondi-Ahman. He said that the 
land sales were near at hand, and if their luck was as 
good as at De Witt they could buy back for almost 
nothing the land they had sold to the "Mormons" only a 
short time before. When Joseph heard they were com- 
ing he again sought the post of danger and was with 
the Saints when the attack was made. 

The mob, numbering nearly a thousand, plundered 
the farms that were some distance from the town. Men, 
women and children were out in the terrible storms of 
the 17th and 18th of October, without any homes to 
shelter them. Agnes Smith was one of these. Her 
husband, Don Carlos Smith, Joseph's brother, was on a 
mission. After her house had been burned, she fled 
from the mob with her two babies in her arms, and 
waded Grand river before she stopped to rest. But now 
General Parks sent Lyman Wight, who was one of his 
colonels, to lead a company of brethren against the 
cowards. The mobs fled but burned their huts as they 
went, and then spread the He that the "Mormons" had 
done it. From this time on the people living in the 
scattered settlements made their way as soon as pos- 
sible to Far West. 

On the 24th of October, 1838, Captain Bogart, 


who was a Methodist preacher when the more impor- 
tant work of killing and plundering the Saints did 
not call him away, led his mob-soldiers into camp on 
Crooked river. They had taken three brethren pris- 
oners from their peaceful homes, and spread the re- 
port that they would murder them that night. When 
this came to Far West, Col. Hinkle sent David W. Pat- 
ten with fifty men to the rescue. They reached Bo- 
gart's camp at daybreak, and as they marched down 
the hill, their forms, outlined against the sky, made a 
fine target for their enemies, hidden under the trees 

Bogart's men suddenly opened fire. Three or four 
of the brethren fell. Captain Patten gave the order to 
shoot and then charge down upon the enemy. For a 
few minutes they fought hand to hand with swords, 
and then the mob, though larger in numbers, wheeled 
about and fled. As they ran, one turned and shot Cap- 
tain Patten, giving him a mortal wound. That night 
he died, surrounded by the Prophet and his true friends. 
His last words to his wife were : "Whatever else you 
do, do not deny the faith !" Thus passed away Apostle 
David W r . Patten, who had rescued friends and given 
up his life in doing so, and greater love than this no 
man hath. 

This battle gave an excuse for the wild and terrible 
stories that set all Missouri in an uproar. Many good 
citizens were really afraid that the "Mormons" were 
about to march upon and destroy them. But surely Gov- 
ernor Boggs could not have been deceived, and yet he 
ordered out two thousand men with the command to 
kill off all the "Mormons" or drive them from the state. 

This extermination, as it was called, began at 
Haun's Mill, in Caldwell County, on the 30th of Oc- 
tober. The. little settlement of Saints was at peace 


when suddenly two hundred and forty men rode up on 
horeseback and began shooting without a moment's 
warning. They showed no pity, but killed men, wound- 
ed women, blew out the brains of children that were 
pleading for their lives, and even robbed the dead. 
Seventeen were killed that afternoon, but there was 
no time to dig their graves. Amid the groans and tears 
of widows and fatherless children, their bodies were 
thrown into an old well and there they lay, a foul blot 
upon the land of liberty. 

Little Alma Smith, who was only eight years old, 
after seeing his father and brother shot, fell to the 
ground with his hip joint and all the flesh about it torn 
away. He knew that if he cried out or asked for 
mercy, as his brother had done, the bad men would kill 
him. So he lay pretending to be dead until after dark, 
when he heard his mother call him. She placed him 
beside his dead father and brother and prayed that she 
might know what to do for her little boy. Our Father 
in heaven heard and answered her prayer. A voice told 
her to wash the wound clean with water in which the 
wood ashes from the fire had been soaked. She obeyed, 
although the cloth brought out each time mashed bone 
and flesh. After it was clean the voice told her to gath- 
er the roots of a slippery elm tree, make a poultice with 
them and fill the great hole in her boy's hip. YVillard 
Smith, another son, who had escaped, gathered the 
roots and his mother made the poultice. Their prayers 
and faith were rewarded. Alma was healed and grew 
once more well and strong. 








DURING the time of trouble in Missouri Satan 
gained control over the hearts of some of the 
leading men in the Church. Thomas B. Marsh, Presi- 
dent of the Twelve Apostles, became an apostate and 
joined William E. McLellin and other men who had 
denied the faith, in spreading evil reports concerning 
Joseph and the Church. How awful it was for these 
men who had seen the most glorious sights that men on 
earth have ever been permitted to see, now trying to 
stir up the spirit of murder against the Prophet and to 
destroy the Church of Christ! 

Satan found other men also that were useful aids 
to him in the great war he was waging. The highest 
men in the state became his tools. Governor Boggs, 
when the Saints appealed to him for help as the mob 
was gathering about De Witt, said that the quarrel was 
between the ''Mormons" and the mob and they must 
fight it out. But as soon as our people showed that they 
would fight for their lives, he brought out the whole 
power of the state to crush them, and Haun's Mill mas- 
sacre was the first result. 

On the day of that terrible slaughter the army 


came before Far West and camped at a safe distance. 
In the morning a white flag was carried toward the 
town, and Col. Hinkle went out to meet it. When he 
returned he told Joseph that the commanders wished 
him and other leading men to come to their camp that 
night and see if they could not come to some terms of 
peace. The brethren agreed, but when they reached the 
camp they found the whole army awaiting them, and 
Hinkle, the traitor, said : "These are the prisoners I 
agreed to deliver up." The mob yelled with delight and 
General Lucas brandished his sword, as though he had 
done a very honorable thing. 

Next morning, after having spent a cheerless night, 
the brethren were tried by court-martial. There were 
seventeen preachers of the different churches among 
the officrs of this court. Joseph and some of the oth- 
ers were not soldiers and could not be tried legally by a 
soldier's court. Yet without being able to say a word 
for themselves they were condemned to be shot at eight 
o'clock the following morning on the public square of 
Far West. General Doniphan said boldly that it was 
murder, and that he washed his hands of the whole af- 

It was not enough for General Lucas to take the 
leaders by deceit, but this same day he commanded the 
people to give up their arms. They had to obey. Then 
followed such a scene as that at Independence just five 
years before, when the Saints surrendered their arms 
to Colonel Pitcher at his command. The mob militia 
was turned loose upon the helpless ones. They robbed 
the houses, and hunted down and shot the men. One 
woman also was killed and many others suffered a fate 
worse than death. 

The Prophet and his companions were not shot. 
The vain Lucas wished to take them through the coun- 


ties and show them as great prizes of war. They were 
permitted only to see their families, and when Joseph 
asked the guards to allow him to speak a few mo- 
ments alone with his wife, they refused. The heartless 
wretches dragged their prisoners away and their wives 
and children cried as if their hearts would break, for 
they never expected to see them again. 

Lucas took them direct to Jackson County, where 
they arrived on the fourth of November. A great 
crowd met them at Independence, and one woman 
asked the guard which^was the Lord whom the "Mor- 
mons" worshiped. The Prophet was pointed out to her 
and she asked him whether he really called himself 
the Lord and Savior. He answered that he was only a 
man sent by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel. She 
was surprised and asked more questions, and the 
Prophet that Sunday morning stood up and preached 
a powerful sermon on the first principles of the Gospel. 
This fulfilled a prophecy, for he had said publicly sev- 
eral months before that one of the Elders would preach 
in Jackson County before the close of 1838. During 
the four days that the brethren were at Independence, 
people flocked to their prison to hear them preach and 
became very friendly. 

General Clark had been put in command of all the 
troops by Governor Boggs, because Clark was so heart- 
less. He was jealous of Lucas because, having reached 
Far West first, Lucas had captured the Prophet, so he 
sent a command that the prisoners be brought to Rich- 
mond, Ray County, at once. But now arose a strange 
difficulty. The soldiers had become so friendly to the 
brethren that they would not take them back to Clark. 
At last three men were induced to go and they started 
out with their seven captives. On the way, however, 
they became so drunk that they could not care for 


themselves, and the prisoners took away their guns and 
horses and kept them until they sobered up. Escape 
would have been easy, but the brethren hoped for a 
trial, and all they wished was a chance to prove them- 
selves innocent. When they reached Richmond they 
were chained together and day and night were dis- 
gusted with the curses and filthy stories of the guards. 
Parley P. Pratt says that one night while these vile 
creatures were telling how they had defiled wives and 
virgins and dashed out the brains of men, women and 
children, Joseph arose and in a voice of thunder spoke : 

"Silence! Ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of 
Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; 1 
will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease 
such talk, or you or I die this instant!" 

He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. 
Chained, and without a weapon, calm, unruffled and digni- 
fide as an angel, he looked, down upon the quailing guards, 
whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a cor- 
ner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and re- 
mained quiet until exchange of guards. 

I have seen ministers of justice, clothed in ministerial 
robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was 
suspended upon a breath, in the courts of England; I have 
witnessed a congress in solemn session to give laws to na- 
tions; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of 
thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide 
the fate of kingdoms. But dignity and majesty have I seen 
but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon, 
in an obscure village of Missouri. 

After Joseph and his companions had been taken 
by General Lucas to Independence, General Clark with 
about two thousand men came to Far West. This 
made six thousand soldiers that had preyed upon the 
little town during one week. He had all the brethren 
marched out and placed in line before him. They were 
perfectly harmless' since their arms had been taken 
away. After putting fifty-six of them under arrest he 


commanded the remaining ones to prepare to flee from 
Missouri. He told them they need not hope ever to see 
their leaders again for their fate was fixed. After his 
speech he compelled the brethren, at the point of the 
bayonet, to sign deeds giving up their property to pay 
the expenses of the mob. 

General Wilson had been sent to Adam-ondi-Ah- 
man. He put a guard around the town, arrested all 
the men and then tried them in a court of which Adam 
Black was judge. The men of the town were so mani- 
festly innocent of wrong doing that even Adam Black 
would not convict them. Wilson ordered that within 
ten days they should all be gone from Daviess County. 

Clark, with his fifty-six prisoners, came to Rich- 
mond to meet Joseph and the rest of the prisoners. 
He seems to have settled on their fate, for Elder Jed- 
ediah M. Grant heard him say to his soldiers : "Gen- 
tlemen, you shall have the honor of shooting the "Mor- 
mon" leaders next Monday morning at eight o'clock." 
But Clark was a great lawyer and knew that such ac- 
tion would be absolutely lawless. He therefore hunted 
for days to find some charge that he could make 
against his prisoners. In a letter to the governor, he 
said they were guilty of treason, murder, arson, burg- 
lary, robbery, larceny and perjury, but he decided to 
count mainly on treason and murder. 

A mock trial was held for sixteen days, and at 
the end of this time all but eleven, including Joseph, 
Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, were 
either let out on bail or discharged. Austin A. King 
was judge and let the worst falsehoods be given in 
testimony. The brethren were asked to call their wit- 
nesses. They named over fifty, and Bogart was sent 
out with a force of soldiers to bring them in. Instead 
of being put on the witness stand, however, they were 


thrown into prison. Whenever any witness showed 
that he would tell the truth about the prisoners the 
mob rushed upon him with their bayonets. 

The condition of the Saints was now very, very 
dark. Joseph and his two counselors, Sidney and Hy- 
rum, were put in Liberty jail, as it seemed, only to 
await death. Parley P. Pratt, one of the Apostles, was 
in prison at Richmond. David W. Patten had been 
killed, and Thomas B. Marsh, William E. McLellin 
and others of the Apostles, had denied the faith and be- 
come the bitterest enemies to the Church. The gov- 
ernor of the state had ordered the soldiers to slay the 
Saints. Winter was coming on, and once more they 
had to flee and find new homes. 




WHEN Joseph and his two counselors, Sidney and 
Hyrum, who formed the First Presidency of the 
Church, were thrown into prison, the Saints, though in 
great trouble, were not without a leader. Brigham 
Young was President of the Twelve Apostles, the quo- 
rum next in authority to the First Presidency. He 
gathered about him the faithful Apostles and brethren 


and declared that he knew Joseph was a true Prophet. 
He called all those whose faith was still strong to join 
him in aiding the Saints. An earnest petition, telling 
of the wrongs our people had suffered and asking for 
justice, was sent to the legislature of Missouri. On the 
19th of December this was discussed, and though 
many of the members were honorable men and worked 
hard for the cause of the Saints, yet those who had 
helped in the outrages were too strong. The petition 
was laid on the table, and this meant that nothing 
would be done in the matter. On that very day John 
Taylor and John E. Page were ordained Apostles un- 
der the hands of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kim- 
ball at Far West. 

When it was found that the law-makers of Mis- 
souri would do nothing for the Saints, they knew they 
must obey the command of Governor Boggs to leave. 
Many of them were very poor. Their horses, cattle 
and other animals had been shot or stolen, and their 
homes taken from them. Some of the leading men 
felt that every family should take care of itself, for 
those best off were poor enough, but Brigham Young 
declared that he would help the poor. He suggested 
a pledge that all who had means would use it freely 
until every worthy Saint who wished to go should be 
taken from Missouri. Through his zeal many of the 
brethren entered into this covenant and most were 
faithful to it. When the mob saw that Brigham had 
become a leader they began to* persecute him as they 
had done Joseph. In the middle of February, 1839, 
he was compelled to flee from Far West. 

The general movement of the Church had been 
toward the west. You remember how the Saints gath- 
ered from Xew York to Ohio and from there went to 
Missouri. But instead of continuing westward now, 


Brigham and others traveled to the east, and, crossing 
over the Mississippi river, settled for a time in Ouincy, 
Illinois, among a very friendly people. Although he 
himself had escaped, he did not forget the Saints that 
had been left behind and used all his efforts for their 



aid. He worked so diligently for subscriptions that 
many of the brethren offered to sell their hats and 
clothing to raise money. 

It was winter time, and the Missouri winters are 
very severe. The case of Amanda Smith is an instance 
of what the people suffered and did. Her husband 
and one son had been killed at Haun's Mill and an- 
other boy wounded as you no doubt remember. She 
had to milk, cut wood and do the work of a man. The 
mob swore they would kill the poor women and chil- 
dren who were left of this settlement if they did not 
leave the state. So she with her five children set out 
with an ox team. After unspeakable suffering she 
reached Quincy and then sent her wagon back for more 
of the Saints. 

It was the last day of November, 1838, when Jo- 
seph and his companions were thrust into Liberty jail. 
The treatment they received was very harsh. At first 
they were not allowed to send or receive letters or see 
their friends. A number of times they were given 
poison, and once for five days a strange kind of meat 
was placed before them which the guards called "Mor- 
mon beef." Joseph warned the brethren not to eat of it 
since he believed it to be human flesh. After he was 
allowed to write he sent long letters of comfort, advice 
and instruction to the Saints. In one of these he said, 
"We glory in our persecution, because we know that 
God is with us. He is our friend, and will save our 
souls. We do not care for them that can kill our body ; 
they cannot harm our souls. We ask no favors at the 
hands of the mobs, nor of the world, nor of the devil, 
nor of his emissaries the dissenters, and those who 
love, and make and swear falsehoods, to take away our 
lives. " 

In the early part of February, 1839, Sidney Rig- 


don was released by the court, but he dared not leave 
the prison because the mob many times had threatened 
to kill the brethren, should any court set them free. 
The jailer, however, was friendly, and let Sidney out 
secretly one night, and he escaped. Before going he 
showed a very bitter spirit, and went so far as to say 
that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were a fool to his. 
This was the spirit that began to destroy his usefulness 
and finally led to his fall. 

At about this .time Heber C. Kimball and Alan- 
son Ripley were pleading with the judges at Liberty to 
give justice to their brethren. They were so earnest 
that at length one of the judges looked them squarely 
in the face and said to the others, "By the look of these 
men's eyes they are whipped but not conquered; and 
let us beware how we treat these men, for their looks 
bespeak innocence." The other judges had harder 
hearts and would not consent to set the prisoners free. 


■■-■—■—— -*—-»--■■ ■■ '■ j 


As one of the brethren was moving his family 
eastward, he lost the road and instead of going into 
Illinois passed northward into Iowa. Here he met a 
certain Doctor Galland, who, learning the troubled 
story of the Saints, became much interested and began 
to plan to have them come and settle in the territory of 
Iowa. He owned a large tract of land and he offered 
to sell it to the Saints. Joseph learned of this while 
in prison, and though he could not investigate it he 
took a lively interest in the plan, for it offered a new 
place of gathering for the Church. Much land in 
Iowa was bought, and this called attention to the lit- 
tle town of Commerce, across the Mississippi river, 
where the Saints built the city of Nauvoo. 








TO KEEP the Prophet and his companions in prison 
and to refuse their many appeals to be tried by a 
fair court was so plainly unjust that some of them 
wished to escape if the Lord was willing. Joseph en- 
quired, and the answer came that if all were agreed to 
leave that night the way should be opened for them 


Lyman Wight, however, was fearful, and persuaded 
them to wait until the following" night before trying to 
escape. They did so, but the Lord punished them for 
waiting. That night the jailor came in alone, leaving 
the doors open behind them, and they could easily have 
run out. The next night he came with a double guard, 
and also with some visitors, and when the brethren 
tried to escape they were stopped, and their visitors 
were locked up with them. When the Lord directs He 
wishes us to act at once. As soon as the people of the 
neighborhood learned that the prisoners had tried to 
break jail, they came rushing together and were very 
angry; but Joseph promised that no harm should be 
done, and their visiting brethren should not lose even a 
saddle blanket. This proved to be true. 

On the 6th of April, 1839, the captives were tak- 
en from Liberty to Gallatin, Daviess County, for an- 
other trial before Judge King. They did not hope for 
justice from him. He was a brother-in-law to Hugh 
Brazeale, one of the men killed in the battle between 
the Saints and the mob in Jackson County, on the 4th 
of November, and he had a keen hatred for the "Mor- 
mons." At this time, too, fifty men of Daviess County 
had sworn that they would neither eat nor drink until 
they had slain Joseph Smith. Some of the brethren 
feared to go, but Joseph promised that if they would 
trust in the Lord He would preserve them, and they 
would receive better treatment than they had hereto- 

On reaching the courthouse the mob rushed upon 
them, but Joseph stepped out boldly and said, "We are t 
in your hands. If we are guilty, we do not refuse to 
be punished by the law." Hearing- this, the leaders 
held back their men. Joseph's promise came true. 
They were shown more kindness quel were not injured. 





if l^SWfn 

:< u •l#53! 



< • 







but the trial did them no good. Judge King and the 
whole jury were drunk. Brother Stephen Markham, 
who had borne true witness, had to leave Gallatin in 
the night to save his life. 

Judge King ordered that the prisoners be taken 
to Boone County, and on the way the guards became 
helplessly drunk. This time the brethren felt that the 
Lord had opened the way for them to escape. There 
was no justice in the counts for them. They had been 
put in prison and held there contrary to law, and they 
had a perfect right to escape and save their lives. This 
was on the 16th of April, and slowly and painfully they 
made their way. toward the Mississippi. They trav- 
eled mainly at nights, crossed swollen streams, suffered 
for food and shelter, but through the mercy of God at 
length reached Ouincy in safety, where they found 
most of the Saints. 

A little before this last trouble for the Saints in 
Missouri began, on the 8th of July, 1838, Joseph en- 
quired to find out the will of the Lord concerning the 
Twelve. He said that they should meet on the build- 
ing spot of His house at Far West, on the 26th of the 
following April, and there take leave of His Saints. 
The apostates and enemies, knowing of this prophecy, 
swore that it never could be fulfilled. Far West was 
in their hands. There were few Saints there, and the 
enemies threatened to kill any of the Twelve if they 
made their appearance. 

Brigham Young called the Apostles together and 
told them that they must fulfill the word of the Lord. 
They set out bravely for Far West, and on April 26th, 
1839, before their enemies were awake, they met at the 
building spot of the Temple and held conference. They 
ordained Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith to 
the Apostleship, cut thirty-one persons off the Church, 




and dismissed their meeting. After saying good-by to 
the Saints, they set out for Quincy. They had ful- 
filled a prophecy which the apostates sneeringly said 
would prove Joseph a false prophet. 

The remaining Saints now moved at once to Il- 
linois, and the great crime against liberty was complete. 
They had come to the new state full of hope and faith ; 
they left it bowed down in sorrow, but with faith un- 



changed. . They parted from their homes and posses- 
sions, worth in all many millions of dollars. They left 
the rough graves of their dear ones, whose bodies were 
buried in many cases without coffins and whose souls 
were crying from under the altar for the vengeance 
of God. 





WHEN the chosen people of the Lord had fled from 
the wicked mobs of Missouri and settled among 
the kind-hearted citizens of Illinois, they began to en- 
joy a season of welfare and happiness, that showed to 
the world, after all the evil spoken of "Mormonism," 
how powerful this religion really is. This was one of 
those times of peace that changed with the times of 
trouble. And you have doubtless noticed since the or- 
ganization of the Church that after a season of persecu- 
tion comes a season of liberty. 

This was the last time in the life of the Prophet 
Joseph when he could use his great mind and soul un- 
disturbed, to advance the people he was chosen to lead ; 
and though some troubles came to him, yet these were 
small compared with what he had already passed 
through. We love to look at the Prophet during this 
time, in the prime of his manhood, employed at the 
work that was so near his heart. The Church had 


grown to number many thousands and its members 
were both in the new and in the old world. As the 
work grew, the burden on the Prophet became heavier, 
but he was equal to it all. 

On May-day, in the spring of 1839, Joseph bought 
the first piece of land at Commerce, a little village of 
six houses on the banks of the Mississippi, about fifty 
miles north of Quincy. The ground was low and 
marshy, and the place very unhealthful, but it was a 
beautiful situation. The great Mississippi river flowed 
in a splendid curve on three sides of it. The name was 
soon changed from Commerce to Nauvoo, the latter be- 
ing a Hebrew word, meaning beautiful. Ten days 
later, Joseph settled his family here, and the Saints 
began rapidly to gather and build up a city. They lived 
at first in tents and log-huts and were very glad of 

Land was bought also just across the river in 
Iowa, and Brigham Young and others settled there. 
The Saints were all worn out with the great hardships 
of the past winter, and this made them an easy prey to 
the disease that lurked in the swamps along the river. 
It was not long until most of them were taken down 
with chills and fever. Joseph himself was stricken, his 
iron constitution giving way on account of nursing the 
sick about him so constantly. 

On the 22nd of July the Prophet rose from his bed, 
and filled with the Spirit of the Lord he went forth, 
and these are some of the labors of that day as given 
by Wilford Woodruff, who was present at the time : 

Many lay sick along the bank of the river, and Joseph 
walked along up to the lower stone house, occupied by 
Sidney Rigdon, and he healed all the sick that lay in his 
path. Among the number was Henry G. Sherwood, who 
was nigh unto death. Joseph stood in the mouth of his 
tent and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to 


arise and come out of his tent, and he obeyed him and 
was healed. Brother Benjamin Brown and his familv also 
lay sick, the former appearing to be in a dying condition. 
Joseph healed them in the name of ttfe Lord. After heal- 
ing all that lay sick upon the bank of the river as far as 
the stone house, he called upon Elder Kimball and some 
others to accompany him across the river to visit the sick 
at Montrose. Many of the Saints were living at the old 
military barracks. Among the number were several of the 
Twelve. On his arrival, the first house he visited was that 
occupied by Elder Brigham Young, the President of the 
quorum of the Twelve, who lay sick. Joseph healed him, 
when he arose and accompanied the Prophet on his visit 
to others who were in the same condition. They visited 
Elder W. Woodruff, also Elders Orson Pratt and John 
Taylor, all of whom were living in Montrose. They also 
accompanied him. The next place they visited was the 
home of Elijah Fordham, who was supposed to be about 
breathing his last. When the companv entered the room 
the Prophet of God walked up to the dying man, and took 
hold of his right hand and spoke to him; but Brother Ford- 
ham was unable to speak; his eyes were set in his head 
like glass, and he seemed entirely unconscious of all around 
him. Joseph held his hand and looked into his eyes in 
silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance 
of Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. 
His sight returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he 
knew him, he, in a low whisper, answered, "Yes." Joseph 
asked him if he had faith to be healed. He answered, "I 
fear it is too late; if you had come sooner I think I could 
have been healed." The Prophet said, "Do you not be- 
lieve in Jesus Christ?" He answered in a feeble voice, "I 
do." Joseph then stood erect, still holding his hand in si- 
lence several moments, then he spoke in a loud voice, say- 
ing, "Brother Fordham, I command you in the name of 
Jesus Christ to arise from this bed and be made whole." 
His voice was like the voice of God and not of man. _ It 
seemed as though the house shook to its very foundation. 
Brother Fordham arose from his bed and was immediately 
made whole. His feet were bound in poultices, which he 
kicked off; then putting on his clothes he ate a bowl of 
bread and milk and followed the Prophet into the street. 
The company next visited Brother Joseph Bates Noble-, 
who lay very sick. He also was healed by the Prophet. 


By this time the wicked became alarmed, and followed the 
company into Brother Noble's house. After Brother Noble 
was healed all kneeled down to pray. Brother Fordham 
was mouth, and while praying he fell to the floor. The 
Prophet arose, and looking round he saw quite a number 
of unbelievers in the house, whom he ordered out. When 
the room was cleared of them Brother Fordham came to 
and finished his prayer. 

Soon after this great day of healing, the Apostles 
began setting out on their mission to England. Heber 
C. Kimball had already opened the English mission in 
the summer of 1837, but he returned home the follow- 
ing year am 1 W-liard Richards was left in charge. We 
can hardly think of greater sacrifices that men can 
make than the Apostles made in going out at this time. 
Many were very sick and their families suffering from 
sickness and want. The Apostles traveled without 
purse or scrip, relying on the Lord to care for them 
and supply their wants. Their sufferings and integrity 
will be lessons of faith for all time to come. 

On the first of July Joseph and his counselors 
crossed the Mississippi river to the Iowa shore and 
there held meeting with the Apostles. Joseph blessed 
them for their journey, and gave much instruction con- 
cerning their coming duties, and unfolded many of the 
glorious things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. 

One week later John Taylor and Wilford Wood- 
ruff set out for their mission. Brother Woodruff rose 
from a sick bed, where his wife also lay unable to rise. 
He blessed her and went forth without a murmur. 
Elder Taylor was about the only one of the Apostles 
who enjoyed health, but on the way he too was stricken 
down. Although he was without money he would not 
give up, and the Lord rewarded his faith. He reached 
New York with only one cent in his pocket. The breth- 
ren there offered to donate enough to pay his passage to 


England but he refused it, saying that the Lord would 
open the way. Before the day of sailing enough money 
was given him to pay for his own ticket and that of 
Brother Turley, whom he had promised to take with 

Parley P. Pratt had escaped after great trouble 
from prison through the aid of his brother Orson, and 
now together, on the 29th of August, they left Nauvoo. 
On the 18th of September Brigham Young departed, 
though unable to walk alone, and leaving a sick wife 
and a baby only ten days old. He was joined by Heber 
C. Kimball, whose wife and all but one child were sick. 
Both Brigham and Heber were so weak that they could 
not carry their single trunk. George A. Smith went 
three days later, leaving father, mother, sister and 
brother helpless in a log stable. He was so thin and 
pale that a man called out as he passed, "Somebody has 
been robbing a graveyard of a skeleton/' 

Joseph said later that the Apostles "went forth 
weeping and bearing precious seed," but they "returned 
with rejoicing and bearing sheaves with them." It was 
a glorious work they did. Each one was blessed with 
success in his particular field. Willard Richards was 
ordained an Apostle on the 14th of April, 1840, and 
this made eight Apostles laboring in the British mis- 
sion. In a little over one year 5,000 copies of the Book 
of Mormon had been printed, and 3,000 hymn books 
and 50,000 tracts had been published. The Millennial 
Star, a monthly paper, had been begun, with Parley 
P. Pratt as editor. Over 3,000 more persons had joined 
the Church, and the precious seed was sown in many 
parts of England, and also in Scotland, Ireland and 
the Isle of Man. And when the Apostles came back 
they did retiirn with rejoicings and their sheaves were 
full of precir^is grain. 


r? lcv : 









WHEN the government of the United States was 
founded, the idea of the inspired fathers of the 
nation was to make it possible for all men to enjoy lib- 
erty and justice. Each state had its government but 
above the states was the national government, which 
was to give justice when it could not be obtained in the 
states. This was the idea Joseph the Prophet had of 
our government, and he determined that since Missouri 
would not right the great wrong done to the Saints, he 
would carry their cause to the United States and there 
seek justice. You know something of what they suf- 
fered. They lost their lands, houses, cattle and almost 
all that they had, and worse than this, they were robbed 
of their rights as American citizens to worship God as 
they saw fit and to live peacefully wherever they chose 
to live. 

In the fall of 1839, in company with Elias Higbee 
and Sidney Rigdon, Joseph went east to Washington to> 
lay the matter before the President and Congress, and 
to ask that claims against Missouri fen about one arid; 


a half million dollars' worth of property be paid. While 
they were traveling by stage in the mountains between 
Philadelphia and Washington, the driver left his seat 
to get a drink of grog. The horses became fright- 
ened and began to run. The road led down a hill and 
the pace soon became terrific. The passengers were 
beside themselves with fear. 

Joseph's presence of mind and cool bravery were 
at once seen. He calmed his fellow-travelers as well 
as possible, but had to hold one excited woman from 
throwing her baby out of the window. He then opened 
the door and securing a hold on the side of the coach, 
although the horses were running at full speed, drew 
himself by main strength up to the driver's seat. Gath- 
ering up the reins, he soon had the horses under con- 

The passengers felt that they owed him their lives, 
and seemed very grateful. They praised his bravery, 
as it of course deserved, in the highest terms, and some 
of them who were members of Congress, said that they 
would speak of the act before that body, feeling sure 
that mention would be made of their deliverer. They 
asked his name, but when he told them he was Joseph 
Smith, all their gratitude and praise ceased at once, and 
nothing more was said. 

Sidney had been left sick at Philadelphia, but Jo- 
seph and Judge Higbee, on the twenty-ninth of Novem- 
ber, the day following their arrival at Washington, 
visited President Van Buren and gave him their let- 
ters of introduction. He read one, and looking up with 
a frown on his face said : "What can I do ? I can do 
nothing for you. If I do anything I shall come in con- 
tact with the whole state of Missouri." Joseph was not 
frightened by such cowardly words and thought the 
man a fool for judging before he had heard their 


cause. He told the President boldly of how Missouri 
had over-ridden the Constitution and of the horrible 
crimes that resulted. Van Buren was moved to pity 
and promised to reconsider what he had said. 

Joseph and his companion prepared a long petition 
to place before Congress. They met a committee of 
the representatives and senators from Illinois and other 
friendly congressman and laid their cause plainly be- 
fore them. They again visited President Van Buren, 
but he had now turned against them and at this time 
spoke those cowardly, traitorous words : "Your cause 
is just, but I can do nothing for you. If I take up for 
you I shall lose the vote of Missouri." 

The committee appointed by Congress to consider 
the petition reported against it also. For their own 
political reasons, like the President, they did not wish 
to favor the "Mormons," and besides this they probably 
feared to touch the great question of State's Rights, 
which was not settled until the Civil War. 

Joseph's mission to Washington seemed to be in 
vain. Yet it was not entirely a failure. He preached a 
number of public sermons, and he did much to spread 
the truth, and gained many friends. He also had a 
chance to become acquainted with those who were in 
high places in the nation, and measure his strength and 
intelligence with theirs. 

At the April conference of 1840, Apostle Orson 
Hyde, who had not gone with the other members of 
the Twelve to England, was called on a mission to 
Jerusalem. Apostle John E. Page was appointed to 
go with him, but this he refused to do. Elder Hyde 
left Nauvoo nine days later, traveled to the Holy Land 
and there offered a prayer of dedication on the Mount 
of Olives, that the Jews might gather home. He then 
went to Europe, and in Germany published a pamphlet 


telling of the rise and doctrines of the Church. His 
mission lasted over two years. 

In midsummer of the year 1840, a circumstance 
happened which showed that the old spirit had not died 
out in Missouri. A party of men from that state came 
to Nauvoo and took away by force — actually kidnapped 
— four of the brethren. These were James Allred, 
Alanson Brown, Noah Rogers and Benjamin Boyce, 
and before they escaped they were nearly killed by the 
cruelties of the Missourians. Two or three months 
later, on the fifteenth of September, Governor Boggs 
asked Governor Carlin of Illinois to have Joseph Smith, 
Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, Caleb 
Baldwin and Alanson Brown arrested for having fled 
from the Missouri prisons. 

Although Governor Carlin must have known that 
the object of Boggs was murder, yet he issued an order 
for their arrest, and the sheriff was sent with it to 
Nauvoo. Joseph and the others who were there went 
into hiding, because they knew that if they were taken 
back to Missouri it meant foul play. The sheriff, 
therefore, returned the order to Governor Carlin. The 
danger was past and Joseph again came out among 
the people. 

On the day before the order for the Prophet's ar- 
rest was made, Joseph Smith, Sen., the first Patriarch 
of .the Church, died on account of the hardships he had 
endured in fleeing from Missouri. He was faithful to 
the last and died a martyr. On the twenty-fourth of 
January, 1841, Hyrum was appointed Patriarch, and 
William Law was made second counselor to Joseph in 
Hyrum's place. 

Nauvoo had now grown, as if by magic, into a 
town of considerable size. Hundreds of comfortable 
houses had taken the place of the half dozen huts found 


in the marsh, a year and a half before. The citizens 
now asked the legislature that it be made into a city. 
Joseph and others wrote out a charter, and in Decem- 
ber it was accepted by the legislature, and signed by 
the governor. This charter, as Joseph said, made it 
possible for any honest man to live secure, whatever 
his religion or party. It provided for a mayor, alder- 
men and councilors ; also for a university and body of 
soldiers called the Nauvoo Legion. 

An election was held on the first of February, and 
John C. Bennett, an educated man who had shortly be- 
fore joined the Church, was elected mayor. Joseph was 
one of the councilors. At the first city council meeting 
the Prophet presented a bill for the organizing of a 
university, and he was elected one of the trustees. 
When the Legion was formed with six companies, Jo- 
seph was made lieutenant-general. So you see that the 
first President of the Church, as all the others have 
been, was a practical man, and was willing to do his 
part as a citizen. 

He accepted the office of councilor, a somewhat 
humble position, because he washed to aid in giving 
the young city good government. At one of the first 
meetings he introduced a bill to prevent the sale of 
liquor, and this made drunkenness almost unknown. 
He accepted the position of trustee of the university 
because he was a great friend to education and wished 
to make the school thrive. He accepted the position of 
lieutenant-general in the Legion because it was a duty 
of the citizens to have a military organization ; and he 
was willing to do his part to make it a worthy one. 







THE bright days of prosperity seemed to have come 
to the Church with the spring of 1841. At a gen- 
eral conference held on the 6th of April, the corner 
stones of the temple at Nauvoo were laid and three days 
later Lyman Wight was ordained an Apostle. This 
made the quorum of the Twelve complete. All the 
other eleven were successfully engaged in the ministry. 

When the summer came, Hyrum and William Law 
went on a mission to the east, and Joseph went down 
the Mississippi to Ouincy with them. Governor Carlin 
lived here and the Prophet visited him, and the two 
men had a long friendly talk. The governor had com- 
missioned Joseph lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo 
Legion only three months before, and nothing was said 
of the order for the arrest of the Prophet that had 
been sent out in September of the preceding year. 

After Joseph had sef out for Nauvoo, Carlin 
found the old order and put it into the hands of the 
sheriff and sent him with a number of men, one of them 
a Missourian, to capture the Prophet. They found and 
arrested him about twenty-five miles from Nauvoo, but 
when the man from Missouri began to threaten and 
curse, most of those who had come with the sheriff, 


being honorable men, withdrew and would have noth- 
ing to do with the arrest. Joseph went back to Quincy 
and his trial was set by Stephen A. Douglas for three 
days later, the 8th of June, at Monmouth, Warren 

Sheriff King, who had made the arrest, went back 
with Joseph to Nauvoo, but on the way became very 
sick. The Prophet took him to his own home, and he 
himself nursed the officer most carefully. Early on the 
morning of the day before the trial, with about twenty 
good friends, Joseph started for Monmouth and 
reached there the following day. The people were very 
curious to see him. The different ministers had stirred 
up a great deal of hatred, and a mob tried to seize him 
but the sheriff kept them back. The trial did not take 
place that day and Joseph was held secure in prison 
until the 9th. 

Six prominent lawyers, with bravery enough to de- 
fend an unpopular cause, appeared in court for Joseph, 
and they advanced two strong reasons why the Prophet 
should not be sent back to Missouri. The first one 
was that the order for arrest, having been sent out 
once and returned to Governor Carlin, became void 
and could not be served again ; and the second was, 
that the action of Missouri had been illegal and the 
indictment of the Prophet was obtained through fraud 
and bribery. Stephen A. Douglas was the judge, and 
he ordered the Prophet to be set free on account of the 
reasons given. Many of the lawyers on the other side 
had been hired by religious people and some had even 
come from Missouri to take part in the case. 

Mr. O. H. Browning, who later became secretary 
of the interior in President Johnson's cabinet, was the 
principal attorney for Joseph, and after arguing upon 
the points of law, he spoke of the injustice of sending 


the Prophet back to Missouri to be murdered by the 
ruffians of that state. He told of the sufferings the 
Saints had endured, and so pitiful was the story that 
many were weeping when he closed. These were the 
last words of his address : 

Great God! have I not seen it? Yes, mine eyes have be- 
held the blood-stained traces of innocent women and chil- 
dren in the drear winter, who had traveled hundreds of 
miles barefoot through frost and snow, to seek a refuge 
from their savage pursuers. It was a scene of horror, suf- 
ficient to enlist sympathy from an adamantine heart. And 
shall this unfortunate man, whom their fury has seen 
proper to select for sacrifice, be driven into such a savage 
land, and none dare to enlist in the cause of justice? If 
there was no other voice under heaven ever to be heard 
in this cause, gladly would I stand alone, and proudly 
spend my last breath, in defense of an oppressed American 

Elder Amasa Lyman, who was with Joseph at this 
trial, delivered a sermon at the request of a number of 
people, on the evening of this day, and a much better 
feeling for the Prophet and the Saints sprang up as a 
result. Many, of course, remained bitter and spread 
all kinds of lies concerning Judge Douglas and the trial, 
but all fair-minded people said that the decision was 
just. There was much rejoicing when the Prophet 
reached Nauvoo, for all expected that this would be 
the end of persecution from Missouri. 

In July and the following months, six of the Apos- 
tles came home from their mission to England, and this 
brought joy to the heart of Joseph. The burden of 
governing the Church was growing very heavy, and 
he needed these true, prudent men about him to aid in 
the great work. They were all dear friends of his, and 
he bore them a love that only faithful followers of 
Jesus can feel for one another. But his happiness for 
their return and his release from danger was saddened 


by the death of Don Carlos, his youngest brother, who 
died on the 7th of August. When only fourteen years 
of age, this boy had begun his missionary work and 
traveled with his father preaching the Gospel. He had 
gone on other missions later and at the age of nineteen 
was ordained president of the High Priest's quorum. 
At the time of his death, in his twenty-sixth year, he 
was one of the city councilors and brigadier-general of 
the Nauvoo Legion. 

About this time the Prophet was visited by a large 
band of Sac and Fox Indians. Some of them had read 
the Book of Mormon and wished to know more about 
the man who had interpreted this great record of their 
fathers. Joseph told them of the beginning of their 
people, and that God had promised they should be white 
and beautiful again when they became righteous. He 
counseled them to bury the hatchet forever and to live 
no more for war and slaughter but to turn to lives 
of peace. When he had finished, Keokuk, one of the 
chiefs, said, "I believe you are a great and good man; 
I look rough, but I also am a son of the Great Spirit. 
I have heard your advice ; and we intend to quit fight- 
ing, and follow the good advice you have given us.'' 

At a general conference, held in the grove at Nau- 
voo, beginning October 2nd and lasting for three days, 
the doctrine of baptism for the dead was publicly 
preached by the Prophet. This had been taught al- 
ready to the Apostles and others, but not to the whole 
Church. The Saints were filled with joy when they 
learned that their fathers, mothers and other relatives 
and all the spirits that had passed away without a 
knowledge of the truth might yet receive salvation 
equal to their own. Some baptisms had already been 
performed, but now the Prophet said that there would 
be no more until they could be carried on in the tern- 


pie. It was a month before the baptismal font was 
ready for use, and soon after it was dedicated by Presi- 
dent Young, baptizing was again commenced. 

In February, 1842, Apostles John Taylor and 
Wilford Woodruff began to publish The Times and 
Seasons j and in the next month Joseph became editor of 
this paper. This was the fourth Church paper that had 
been set up and published. In this same month of 
March, under the direction of the Prophet, the Female 
Relief Society of Nauvoo was founded. You all know 
how much good the Relief Societies are doing at the 
present time, and this was the first in the Church. 
Emma Smith, Joseph's wife, was made president, and 
Eliza R. Snow was secretary. 




THERE are few things that will drive the Spirit of 
the Lord away from a man or woman or a boy or 
girl so quickly as impurity. Hundreds of men have 
fallen in this Church, some from the position of Apos- 
tles even, because they were not virtuous. There are 
few instances that illustrate this better than the fall of 
John C. Bennett. He was a man of great ability, had a 
good education and had become very prominent among 


the Saints. But he did not resist temptation, and the 
Spirit of God withdrew from him. Then he began to 
draw others into his wickedness. He told a number 
of men and women that the Prophet had said that the 
members of the Church need not be chaste. Some of 
them sinned with him. He even went further, and be- 
gan plotting to kill Joseph. 

Bennett was major-general of the Nauvoo Legion, 
and on the 7th of May, 1842, a sham battle was ar- 
ranged, in which the twenty-six companies of the Le- 
gion, numbering two thousand men, were to take part. 
Joseph was lieutenant-general and he took his place 
with the visitors, in such a position as to be able to over- 
look the battle. Bennett, the traitor, tried to get him 
alone into a certain position in the ranks, where, as later 
turned out, he could be shot by some of Bennett's 
friends, and, amid the noise and smoke, the real person 
could never be told. The Spirit of the Lord prompted 
Joseph not to go, and revealed to him the wickedness 
of his former friend, so the plot failed. Shortly after 
this Bennett resigned his position as major and was 
cut off the Church, but with tears in his eyes he pleaded 
for his standing, and mercy was shown unto him. 

After forgiveness had been given he went before 
Daniel H. Wells, who was not then a member of the 
Church, and stated upon his oath that Joseph had 
never taught him "anything contrary to the strictest 
principles of the Gospel, or of virtue, or of the laws of 
God or man, under any circumstance, or upon any 
occasion, either directly or indirectly in word or deed/' 
He also made public confession of his wrongdoing and 
all the falsehoods he had told concerning the Prophet. 
It was not long, however, before he again fell into sin, 
and then he was cut off the Church and the world was 
warned against him as a wicked, impure man. He 


now turned his spite upon the Prophet and the Church 
and became the author 'of the most frightful lies. It 
was largely due to him that persecution again sprang 
up. John C. Bennett might have lived an honorable 
life, held important positions of trust and been a fa- 
vored servant of God, if he had resisted temptation. 
He now became an enemy of the truth, was a murderer 
in his heart, and after a short life of crime, died a most 
wretched death. 

One day Joseph crossed the Mississippi river from 
Nauvoo to Montrose, on the Iowa shore, in company 
with a number of prominent Free Masons. He was 
waiting for them in the shade of the Masonic building 
while they finished up their business on the inside, 
when the subject of the Missouri persecutions came 
up and Joseph made a prophecy. He said that the 
Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and 
would be driven to the Rocky mountains. Many would 
apostatize, others would be put to death or lose their 
lives through exposure and disease, but some of those 
present would live to go and help make settlements and 
build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people 
in the midst of the Rocky mountains. This prophecy 
was made on the 6th of August, 1842, five years before 
any Latter-day Saint ever saw the valley of the Great 
Salt Lake. 

Two days after this, on the 8th of August, the 
Prophet and Orrin Porter Rockwell were arrested by 
the sheriff and two deputies of Adams County, on the 
charge of murder. Three months before, Lilburn W. 
Boggs was found one night lying in his bed at his home 
in Independence, Jackson County, with three bullet 
wounds in the head. These were not fatal and he soon 
recovered. The report was spread that the "Mormons" 
had done this to punish Boggs for the murders of the 


Saints which he had set the mob to do ; but there was 
no evidence to show that any member of the Church 
had been in the slightest degree connected with the 
crime. In the latter part of July, almost three months 
after the shooting, Boggs swore out a complaint against 
Orrin P. Rockwell for having tried to murder him, and 
against Joseph Smith as his aid in the crime. 

Boggs had applied to Governor Reynolds of Mis- 
souri, and Reynolds had applied to Governor Carlin of 
Illinois, for the arrest of the Prophet and Brother 
Rockwell as fugitives from justice. Thousands of peo- 
ple had seen Joseph at Nauvoo on the day that Boggs 
had been shot. Certainly he had not been in Missouri, 
and therefore had not fled from the state. According 
to his right, the Prophet demanded that they be taken 
to the city court of Nauvoo for a hearing. This the 
officers refused to allow, but seeming not to know what 
their duties really were, they went back to Quincy to 
consult with Governor Carlin. When they came back, 
two days later, Brother Rockwell had gone east, and 
Joseph had hid himself, not wishing to be taken, con- 
trary to law, back to Missouri. The sheriff tried to 
frighten Emma into telling where Joseph was, by 
threatening her if she refused, but it was of no use. 

During more than four months the Prophet was 
hiding at Nauvoo and the neighboring country, though 
once he came suddenly before the people and preached 
to them. During this time he wrote important letters 
to the Saints, especially on the subject of baptism for 
the dead. All kinds of tricks were tried in order to 
capture him. A reward of $1,300 was offered for his 
arrest, and the threat was made that if he was not 
found the mob would come upon Nauvoo and burn the 
city. On hearing this last, the Prophet told Wilson 
Law, who had been made major-general, that though 


the Saints would make every sacrifice that God or man 
could require at their hands to preserve peace, yet they 
should defend themselves if necessary. 

At length, relying on the advice of Mr. Butterfield, 
an able lawyer who had become Joseph's attorney, and 
the promise of Thomas Ford, who had been elected gov- 
ernor of Illinois after the end of Carlin's term, the 
Prophet permitted himself to be arrested by Wilson 
Law on the 26th of December, and with a company of 
brethren, set out for Springfield, the capital- of Illinois, 
to be tried before the circuit court. 

On the last day of the year, 1842, the Prophet was 
released by Judge Pope on two thosuand dollars bonds 
to appear for trial the following week. The court house 
was crowded with people. Some were friendly to the 
Prophet and others were his enemies, but all wished to 
see him. After he was set free, he went to visit Gov- 
ernor Ford and on his way he passed between two walls 
of people. Soon after this a loose team went dashing 
past the State house and somebody called out, "J ose P n 
Smith the 'Mormon' Prophet is running away." The 
legislature at once dismissed and the members came 
running out of doors to take part in the excitement. The 
Prophet had grown to be a very interesting person to 
them. Next morning being Sunday, the State house 
was offered for the purpose of holding a meeting. Or- 
son Hyde and John Taylor preached to a great congre- 

The trial was held on the 4th of January, 1843, 
and . after a powerful argument by Air. Butterfield, 
Judge Pope decided that the whole action of the Mis- 
souri and Illinois officers, in trying to take the Proph- 
et and carry him away for trial, was illegal. By this 
decision Joseph was given his liberty again. He re- 
turned to Nauvoo on the 10th of January and the 


Saints were overjoyed to see him in safety again. The 
Twelve Apostles set apart the 17th of that month as a 
day of humility, fasting, praise, thanksgiving and 
prayer. This day was kept, and all were truly grate- 
ful to God for having preserved the Prophet's life. 
Next day Joseph and Emma gave a banquet to many 
of the Saints .in honor of the fifteenth anniversary of 
their marriage. 






Y\7 HEN Judge Pope declared that Joseph was a free 
W man again after the trial at Springfield, on the 
fifth of January, 1843, a few months of peace followed 
his long hiding. It was a happy, busy time for the 
Prophet — a time when many prophecies were uttered 
by him and much precious truth given to the Saints. 
In the early part of this year there was a great stir 
made about the prophecy of a man named Miller who 
said that Jesus and the day of judgment were to come 
on April 3rd. A committee of young men came from 
New York to see Joseph about this, and he said posi- 
tively that the Lord would not come in the year 1843 
to reign in this world. At a later time in a conference, 
he declared to the Saints that Jesus would not come 
before he, Joseph, was eighty-five years old. 

Orrin P. Rockwell was captured by the Missou- 
rians and thrown into prison in the month of March, 


and when the Prophet heard it, he prophesied in the 
most positive terms that Brother Rockwell would get 
away honorably from his captors. 

One night about the same time Joseph, Wilford 
Woodruff and Willard Richards saw a great streak 
of light in the sky in the shape of a sword with the 
hilt downward. The Prophet told them that as sure 
as God sits on a throne in heaven, so sure would there 
be a bloody war, and the flaming sword was a certain 
sign thereof. A short time after this he repeated the 
prophecy that the bloodshed should begin in South 

On the eighteenth of May, Joseph passed through 
Quincy, and on the invitation of Stephen A. Douglas, 
stopped and dined with him. Judge Douglas asked for 
an account of the Missouri persecutions, and when 
Joseph finished it, Douglas spoke in the strongest 
terms against Boggs and the other officials and said 
that they should be punished. After dinner Joseph said 
to his host : 

Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United 
States, and if you ever turn your hand against the Latter- 
day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of the Al- 
mighty upon you; and you will live to see and know that 
I have testified the truth to you, for the conversation, of 
this day will be with you through life. 

The prophecy was fulfilled. Douglas did turn his 
hand against the Latter-day Saints, in the hope of win- 
ning favor thereby, and when he ran for president 
against Abraham Lincoln, in the fall of 1860, he was 
defeated, and soon after died. 

A great trial came to the Prophet in the lattei 
part of his life, and a very severe test was made of his 
willingness to obey the word of God unto him, relating 
to celestial marriage. Joseph at once began to teach 


Hyrum and other faithful, true men the will of the 
Lord. He told Emma, his wife. After a struggle she 
consented that her husband take other wives, and she 
herself gave them to him. Even then Joseph did not 
think it wise to make the revelation public, and not 
until the twelfth day of July was it written down. Just 
one month later it was read before the High Council 
at Nauvoo, by Hyrum Smith.* 

The Prophet was not engaged entirely in spiritual 
matters during the first half of 1843. He had been 
elected mayor of Nauvoo, and gave much attention to 
his various duties. He was full of life and vigor and 
kept up his athletic practices. It was during this time 
that he met William Wall, a champion wrestler of 
Ramus, Illinois, and had a friendly bout with him. 
It must have been a fine thing to see those two pow- 
erful men struggling with all the skill they had for 
the mastery, but Wall had met a match and Joseph 
came offer victor. 

In the month of June a plot was laid for Bennett, 
the apostate, and Samuel Owens, the old leader of 
the Jackson County mobs, to bring Joseph back to 
Missouri. They worked upon Governors Reynolds 
and Ford ; and two men, Sheriff Reynolds of Jackson 
County and Sheriff Wilson of Hancock County, were 
sent to capture him. The Prophet was visiting near 
Dixon, about one hundred and fifty miles from Nau- 
voo, when two officers, disguised as "Mormon" mis- 
sionaries, came to the house where he was staying and 

The passage of the anti-polygmay laws and tlie de- 
cision of the Supreme Court of the United States, uphold- 
ing them, resulted in 1890, during the presidency of Wil- 
ford Woodruff, in the suspension of the practice, and plural 
marriage among the Saints is now neither taught nor prac- 
ticed. — Editor. 


said, "We want to see Brother Joseph." As soon as he 
came to the door they drew their pistols and threat- 
ened, with many curses, to kill him. He told them to 
shoot, he was not afraid to die, but he demanded that 
they show some writ on which they made the arrest. 

They had no writ to show, but they struck him 
with their pistols, dragged him to the wagon and tried 
to drive away. Stephen Markham, however, held the 
horses although the officers swore they would shoot 
him, until Emma brought Joseph's coat and hat. It 
was eight miles to Dixon, and on the way these bad 
men kept striking him and punching him in the sides 
with their pistols. When they reached the tavern, 
where they changed horses, the Prophet was almost 
fainting. A great spot on each side was black and 
blue from their blows. 

Brother Markham had followed the kidnappers 
on horesback to Dixon, and before they could get away, 
he told the story of the outrage and secured a lawyer. 
The brutal officers were arrested and placed in charge 
of Sheriff Campbell, and Joseph was given a writ of 
habeas corpus, which permitted him to have a hearing 
before the circuit court at Ottawa. 

Next day Joseph, in the hands of Reynolds and 
Wilson, and they in the hands of Sheriff Campbell, 
started out. They stopped at night at Pawpaw grove, 
where the Prophet was asked to preach. Reynolds 
jumped up and yelled that the people must disperse, 
but an old man with a thick cane walked up and said 
to the Missourian : 

"You damned infernal puke, we'll learn you to 
come here and interrupt our gentleman. Sit down 
there, and sit still. Don't you open your heard itntil 
General Smith gets through talking. If you never 
learned manners in Missouri, we'll teach you that 


gentlemen are not to be imposed upon by a nigger- 
driver. You cannot kidnap men here." 

Reynolds knew that he would be lynched if he 
did not behave, and he sat down very quietly. The 
Prophet spoke for an hour and a half on marriage, the 
subject called for by the audience. 

Judge Caton of the circuit court was found to be 
in New York. A new writ was made out and the 
party started for Quincy to have the trial before Judge 
Douglas. Stephen Markham rode quickly on horse- 
back toward Nauvoo, but on the way met one hundred 
and seventy-five men, who, hearing that the Prophet 
was being kidnapped, had come to rescue him. 

When they met him some of them burst into tears 
and threw their arms about him. Joseph said to Rey- 
nolds and Wilson, "I think I will not go to Missouri 
this time, gentlemen, these are my boys." The two 
sheriffs were nearly frightened to death, thinking they 
were going to be punished at once, and Reynolds asked, 
"Is Jem Flack in the crowd?" Some on answered 
that the Missourian would see him the next day. With 
a doleful look Reynolds whined, "Then I am a dead 
man, for I know him of old." The Prophet, however, 
gave the officers his pledge that no harm should be 
done them. 

It was decided by Joseph's lawyers and the others 
that the trial might be held at Nauvoo instead of 
Quincy and this was very pleasing to the Prophet. 
Reynolds and Wilson, however, kept plotting to get 
Joseph into the hands of his enemies. They wished to 
take him to the mouth of Rock river, which flowed 
into the Mississippi, where a band of their friends were 
waiting to help them, but Sheriff Campbell, who had 
them under arrest, took away their arms and kept 
them from again running away with the Prophet. 


Before they reached Nauvoo one of the lawyers 
for the kidnappers challenged any of the party to 
wrestle at side-hold for a wager. Stephen Markham 
offered to wrestle him for fun and the lawyer threw 
him. Joseph's enemies, lacking the spirit of true sport, 
began making fun of Brother Markham and his 
friends. The Prophet turned to Philemon C. Merrill, 
a young man, and said, "Get up and throw that man." 

Brother Merrill was not a side-hold wrestler and 
he hesitated, but Joseph again commanded him in such 
a tone that the young man waited to offer no excuse. 
He stood up, held up his arms and told the lawyer to 
choose his hold. He did not object when his opponent 
put his right arm under. The Prophet said: "Phile- 
mon, when I count three, throw him." As soon as the 
signal was given, Brother Merrill swung the lawyer 
over his shoulder and threw him, head downward, to 
the ground. All who saw the act were filled with awe. 

At Nauvoo all was gladness at the Prophet's safe 
return. Hyrum took his brother in his arms and wept 
for joy. A feast was prepared at the Prophet's house 
and Reynolds and Wilson with about fifty others sat 
down at the table. Emma entertained these men who 
had tried to kidnap and murder her husband, as if they 
were guests of honor, but so brutal had they become 
that when they left Nauvoo they went to Carthage and 
tried to raise the militia to come upon the city of the 
Saints. This Governor Ford was wise enough to re- 
fuse. Joseph was set free by the court at Nauvoo, and 
for a time his troubles were at an end. 





THE last time of peace in the life of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith had come, and even this peace was 
broken by the mutterings of a storm that was about to 
break upon him and crush out his dear life. At this 
time Joseph was as complete a man, and his life was as 
nearly perfect, as can be found among mortal men in 
all the history of this world. He had an almost fault- 
less body. He was full of physical strength and cour- 
age and possessed the best of health. His mind was 
great and vigorous. He had a broader view of politics 
and philosophy than the deepest politicians and philos- 
ophers of the world. He was living near unto God, 
and enjoyed the presence of that best companion, the 
Holy Ghost. He felt that his end was near and this 
seemed to raise him above the conditions and weak- 
nesses of mortal men. He had so many exalted thoughts 
and doctrines to teach the Saints, and he strove so hard 
to make them understand ! Oh, his life was indeed 
beautiful ! 

There were many things that saddened these last 
few months. Meetings were held by his enemies to 
rouse the spirit of hate against him, but more serioits 


and more sorrowful was the fall of some of the men 
who had been his dear friends and companions. Wil- 
son Law, who only a short time before had spoken 
burning words of truth in defense of Joseph, having 
given way to temptation, lost his former love and be- 
came a bitter enemy. William Law, Francis and 
Chauncey Higbee, Robert and * Charles Foster, fol- 
lowed the same course. Even Sidney Rigdon lost the 
spirit of the Gospel and would have been rejected by 
the Saints, if Hyrum had not pleaded for mercy, Jo- 
seph knew too well Sidney's true condition, and no 
longer gave him his trust and confidence. 

Early Christmas morning of 1843, Joseph and 
Hyrum awoke thinking they heard the sweet singing 
of angels. The song was, "Mortals awake, with an- 
gels join." They rose from their bed, and, going to 
the window saw below them in the hazy light of dawn, 
a group of men and women who were singing this 
Christmas carol. The melody filled their hearts with 
tenderness and joy, and after the song was ended, Jo- 
seph pronounced a blessing upon the singers. That 
same Christmas day, Orrin Porter Rockwell, with long 
hair, looking rough and wild, appeared among the 
company gathered at the Prophet's home. He had been 
set free from the Missouri prison and came away hon- 
orably as the Prophet had prophesied. He told a thrill- 
ing story of his adventures, and one little circum- 
stance he related shows his character. 

Knowing that Joseph had great confidence in 
Porter, Reynolds had tried to persuade him to go and 
lead the Prophet into a trap so that the Missourians 
could catch him. They promised Brother Rockwell 
great rewards and safety — almost anything he wished 
if he would but act as the traitor. Reynolds said to him, 


"You only deliver Joe Smith into our hands and name 
your pile." But Porter replied, "I will see you all 
damned first, and then I won't." 

In the spring of 1844, many leading men asked 
Joseph to permit them to name him as a candidate for 
the presidency of the United States. After much 
thought and prayer he consented, and on the twenty- 
ninth of January, he was nominated at Nauvoo. One 
week later he wrote an address to the people of the 
United States, giving his ideas of what the President 
and Congress should do. He was not the choice of 
either the Democratic or Whig party, but he had prin- 
ciples of his own that were far in advance of the poli- 
tics of that day. He declared that slavery was wrong, 
but said that the slaves should be bought and set free 
by the government. Just think of the millions of lives 
that would have been saved and the millions of dol- 
lars, also, if his plan for the freedom of the slaves had 
been accepted ! In the spring some of the Apostles 
and many of the Elders went out to the states to speak 
in favor of Joseph's election. 

While the Prophet was working for peace in the 
nation and working for peace toward the Saints, his 
enemies were holding meetings to plan for his destruc- 
tion. One of these was as Carthage, on the seventeenth 
of February, the very day that Joseph sent out an 
appeal to the good people of the state for peace. The 
meeting was made up of men whose later actions 
showed that they were willing to murder in order to do 
away with the Prophet, and yet they appointed, awful 
as it was, a day for fasting and prayer, thinking no 
doubt, that this would make their bloody work appear 
as righteousness to the world. 

You remember a short time before this Joseph had 
prophesied that the Saints would go to the Rocky 


mountains, and there become a mighty people. When 
he saw trouble gathering, his mind turned toward the 
West. He directed the exploring parties to prepare 
themselves and go out to look for a suitable resting 
place for the Saints, when their next move should come. 
In civilization there seemed no rest for them. Many 
times he referred to the subject and directed the Apos- 
tles to secure strong, prudent men and send them out. 
Many volunteered and prepared themselves to go. 

Joseph at this time prophesied that within five 
years the Saints should be out of the power of mobs 
and apostates. He did not live to see this fulfilled, but 
you know how true the prophecy was. By February 
of 1849, five years from the time that the Prophet ut- 
tered it, the body of the Church was in Salt Lake val- 
ley, one thousand miles from their old persecutors. 

A special conference of the Church was held at 
Nauvoo, beginning the sixth of April, 1844. The sev- 
enth was Sunday, and twenty thousand Saints gathered 
to hear the Prophet speak. Elder King Follett, a faith- 
ful man who had been in prison with Parley P. Pratt 
in Missouri, had died a few days before, and Joseph's 
mind was drawn to the eternal glory that this man and 
other faithful Saints will obtain. For three and a half 
hours, in power rested the Holy Ghost upon him and 
he spoke. His voice was like the voice of an angel, and 
the people sat motionless, almost breathless, listening 
to hear every word. 

The Laws and Fosters could no longer hide their 
wickedness and they were publicly cut off the Church. 
Now began their lawless, murderous course. Before 
the week had passed a number of them were arrested 
and fined for assault and resisting officers of the 
law. Joseph was determined that they should not de- 
ceive innocent Saints, and before they were cut off he 


laid open their wickedness in public, and their thirst for 
his blood grew stronger within thein. William Law 
and others went to Carthage and swore to a complaint 
before the circuit court, charging the Prophet with 
polygamy and perjury. 

Joseph heard that an order for his arrest was out, 
and so on the twenty-fifth of May, he went of his own 
free will to Carthage to give himself up. He obtained 
lawyers there and wished to have the case tried at once, 
but the other side succeeded in having it delayed until 
the next term of court. Joseph was left in the hands 
of a sheriff, who knowing the Prophet's honor let him 
go free. He learned from some of the apostates, who 
were not so bitter as others, that a plot had been formed 
to murder him that night at Carthage. Hyrum and 
others of his friends were with him, and when the mob 
was not expecting it, they left Carthage and went 
rapidly toward Xauvoo. Joseph rode his favorite 
horse, a beautiful animal which he called Joe Duncan. 
Thcv reached home soon after dark by rapid riding. 







THE mutterings of that storm of hatred, lies and 
murder changed to the storm itself when the Nan- 
roo Expositor came out on the seventh of June, 1844. 
It was a weekly newspaper printed by the Laws, Hig- 


bees and Fosters, and was filled with the apostate spirit. 
Joseph and Hyrum were the main objects of its lying 
attacks. It also urged that the charter of Nauvoo be 
withdrawn on account of the fraud and crimes which, 
it said, were practiced under it. On this same day 
Robert Foster came to the Prophet and asked to see him 
alone, saying he wished to come back into the Church. 
Joseph refused to see him without witnesses, and as 
they spoke he pointed to Foster's breast and said, 
"What have you concealed there?" Foster confessed 
it was his pistol, and after a few more words, left the 
house, promising to come back, but he never came. It 
was soon learned that he had wished to draw Joseph off 
alone and then murder him. 

Three days after the Expositor came out, the city 
council met and decided that this paper was a public 
nuisance, and, as in ordinary cases, Marshal John P. 
Greene was directed to remove it. Taking a number 
of men with him as assistants, he quietly went to the 
office, took the press out of the building, broke it and 
pied the type. Joseph, as mayor of the city, made a 
proclamation telling why this action had been taken. 
It was simply self-protection. If the Nauvoo Expos- 
itor had gone on, sooner or later mobs would have 
come upon Nauvoo, and the city would have suffered 
the terrible fate of Far West. 

The publishers hurried to Carthage and told their 
story. Constable David Bettisworth was sent to arrest 
Joseph and Hyrum Smith and the others who had 
been concerned in destroying the Expositor. Thomas 
[Morrison, justice of the peace at Carthage, had issued 
a warrant and had directed the officers to bring the 
prisoners before him or some other justice of the peace 
within the county. Joseph and- Hyrum asked that 
they be taken before a justice of the peace in Nauvoo, 
but the constable said, "I will be damned but I will 



carry yon before Justice Morrison at Carthage." The 
brethren therefore obtained a writ of habeas corpus 
from the city court of Nauvoo and after being examined 
were set free. 

Though Marshal Greene's action had been per- 
fectly lawful and regular, it was a somewhat unusual 
thing to do, and Joseph sent a statement to Governor 
Ford when the excitement began to rise, telling plainly 
the whole affair and offering to go to Springfield, the 
capital of Illinois, to be tried by any court that could 
properly try the case. Judge Thomas came to Nauvoo 
on the sixteenth and counseled Marshal Greene, Joseph, 
TTyrum, John Taylor and the others who had taken part 
in destroying the press, to go before a justice of the 
peace and be tried for the offense, saying that if they 
were acquitted, he would be bound to make the mob 
keep the peace. They went before Daniel H. Wells, 
who was not then a member of the Church, and after 
a full, careful trial, were set free, Esquire Wells decid- 
ing that they were not guilty. 

On the very day that this trial was held mobs 
began to gather. Hundreds poured over the Missis- 
sippi river to have a hand in what they thought would 
be bloody work, and the worst characters in the sur- 
rounding country gathered, with muskets and cannon, 
to attack Nauvoo. As commanding officer of the 
Xauvoo Legion, Joseph ordered his men to arms and 
declared the city under martial law. He stood upon the 
platform in full uniform and spoke to his soldiers and 
the Saints. It was his last public address. As he spoke 
he drew his sword and stretched his arm toward heaven, 
and standing there in the splendor of his manhood, he 
uttered these words : 

I call God and angels to witness that I have unsheathed 
my sword with a firm and unalterable determination 
that this people shall have their legal rights, and be 


protected from mob violence, br my blood shall be spilt 
upon the ground like water, and my body consigned to the 
silent tomb. 

About this time the Prophet told a dream that he 
had had. He was riding in a carriage with his guard- 
ian angel, and at the roadside he saw two snakes coiled 
up together. The angel explained that these were 
Robert Foster and Chauncey Higbee. Farther *on 
William and Wilson Law dragged him from his car- 
riage, and after binding his hands, threw him into a 
deep pit. Terrible beasts then fell upon Wilson, and a 
serpent coiled itself about William and they cried, "O, 
Brother Joseph, Brother Joseph, save us or we perish ! ,J 
He told them that they had bound him and thrown 
him into a pit and he could not help them. Then his 
angel came and said, "Joseph, why are you here?" He 
replied, "Mine enemies fell upon me and bound me and 
threw me into this pit.'' The angel took him by the 
hand, drew him up, and they went on together. 

Governor Ford came into Carthage three days after 
the Nauvoo Legion had been called out, and at once 
sent to Joseph asking that a committee of discreet men 
be sent to him from Nauvoo. Apostle John Taylor and 
Dr. John M. Bernhisel, after hastily gathering a num- 
ber of papers, set out to lay the true condition of things 
before the governor. He talked with them and read 
aloud their written statements while in the company of 
the worst enemies of the Church, who continually 
interrupted him with oaths and threats. He plainly 
showed that he was too weak, or at least unwilling to 
enforce the law. When Joseph and Hyrum learned this 
they knew their only course to save Nauvoo, without 
giving themselves up to slaughter, was to flee. 

On the night of the twenty-second of June, while 
the tears were flowing fast from their eyes, Joseph and 


Hyrum, in company with Willard Richards, bade fare- 
well to their families and Nauvoo and crossed the Mis- 
sissippi river. Orrin P. Rockwell rowed them over in 
a leaky skiff", and on the way they used their boots and 
shoes to bale out the water to keep from sinking. On 
the next morning they began to prepare actively for 
their journey westward, having decided that they would 
go to the Rocky mountains, knowing that if they were 
absent from Nauvoo the mob would not attack the 

As they were thus working, word came from 
Emma and many of those who had pretended great 
friendship, asking Joseph to return to Nauvoo, insinuat- 
ing that he was a coward and was running from danger. 
Joseph and Hyrum were men that could not bear this 
reproach. They at once set out for home, and as they 
went Joseph said, "We are going back to be butchered/' 
Hyrum replied, "If we live or die, we will be reconciled 
to our fate." As they walked to the river bank, Joseph, 
deep in thought, fell behind, and some one called to him 
to hasten. He looked up and said, "There is time 
enough for the slaughter." 

Next morning, Joseph, with the seventeen others 
for whom the order of arrest had first been made, 
started for Carthage. As they passed the temple the 
Prophet gazed upon it and looked over the city, then in 
a tender, sad tone he said to his companions: 'This is 
the loveliest place and these are the best people under 
the heavens ; little do they know the trials that await 
them." On their way they met Captain Dunn with 
sixty troopers from Carthage. He had an order for 
the state arms held by the Nauvoo Legion, from Gov- 
ernor Ford, and Joseph, as lieutenant-general, signed 
this at his request. After this act the Prophet said to 
those about him : 

"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am 


calm as a summer's morning. I have a conscience void 
of offense toward God and toward all men. If they 
take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood 
shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall 
yet be said of me, 'He was murdered in cold blood.' " 

Dunn feared to go to Nauvoo on the brutal errand 
of the governor, and asked Joseph to go with him so 
that he might be safe. Though the brethren were loth 
to give up their arms, fearing a repetition of Inde- 
pendence and Far West, yet they had such faith in the 
Prophet's command that they obeyed. These, you re- 
member, were state arms and the governor had a right 
according to law to demand them, though he was a 
coward for doing so. Their obedience shows how will- 
ing the Saints were to obey the law. Again bidding 
farewell, Joseph and Hyrum turned away and left 
Nauvoo forever. 





THE departure from Nauvoo was the beginning of 
the end. The brethren reached Carthage about 
midnight, and found the mob awaiting them. As they 
came up, a flood of threats and curses poured out from 
the drunken rabble. Governor Ford, hearing this, put 
lis head out of the window and begged the mob to go 
quietly to their quarters, promising to exhibit the pris- 
oners in the morning. They spent the rest of the night 



at an inn where they found a number of apostates, who 
said openly that the intention was to kill them. 

Early next morning they gave themselves up to 
Constable Bettisworth, who had made the arrest at 


Nauvoo, and then went to see the governor. He had 
sent worcl to them before they reached Carthage that 
they would be protected from harm, and now he gave 
his word and promised as governor of Illinois that they 
should have protection and a fair trial. When the visit 
was over Ford took them before the mob militia and 
introduced the Prophet and Hyrum as Generals Joseph' 


and Hyrum Smith. The Carthage Greys threw up 
their hats, drew their swords and yelled, "We will in- 
troduce ourselves to the damned 'Mormons' in a differ- 
etU style." Ford answered, "You shall have the full 
satisfaction." Soon after, the Greys were put under 
guard for mutiny, but were at once set free. 

When the brethren returned to the tavern from 
their visit to the governor, the leaders of the mob called 
on Joseph. They confessed he did not look like a des- 
perate man, but said that they could not see his heart. 
He answered that he could see their hearts, that they 
were filled with murder. He prophesied to them that 
they should see scenes of blood and horror to their 
hearts' content. Many should face the cannon's mouth 
and endure all the evil they knew of. 

The brethren had come to Carthage to be tried be- 
fore Justice Morrison on the charge of riot, because he 
had issued the order for their arrest and the governor 
was not satisfied to accept the judgment of Daniel II. 
Wells or any other justice. But now in the afternoon 
of the twenty-fifth the}' were brought before Robert 
F. Smith, who was also captain of the Carthage Greys 
and a more bitter enemy than Morrison. The brethren 
were released on seven thousand five hundred dollar 

That morning Joseph and Hyrum had been ar- 
rested for treason and at night the constable came with 
an order from Smith to take them to prison. Their 
lawyers refused to permit them to go, since the action 
was illegal, and Smith applied to the governor for 
advice. Ford said, "You have the Carthage Greys at 
your command." The justice of the peace, seeing the 
point, went with his men and dragged Joseph and 
Hyrum to prison. 

The night was spent in prayer by the prisoners 
and the brethren who had gone with them. Next morn- 



ing, on Joseph's written request, Governor Ford came, 
and Joseph had a long talk with him. The Prophet 
explained the whole situation, and Ford seemed per- 
fectly satisfied. He pledged the honor of himself and 
his officers to give the Prophet protection and he prom- 


ised that if he went to Nauvoo the following day, he 
would take him back. 

After Ford left, the "brethren took turns in preach- 
ing to the guards. Several times they were changed 
because the men refused to take any part in doing such 
a terrible wrong to those whom they had grown certain! 


were innocent. At half past two in the afternoon the 
jailor refused to give up the prisoners on the order 
from Justice Smith, as Smith had no authority to de- 
mand them. Once more the governor advised the use 
of the Carthage Greys in place of law, and the prisoners 
were forcibly taken into court. The charge was trea- 
son, and for a long time Justice Smith refused to have 
witnesses from Nauvoo, but at length the trial was put 
of! until the twenty-ninth of June, three days later. 

When they went back to prison that night, Hyrum, 
who seemed far mare hopeful than Joseph, read from 
the Book of Mormon comforting passages that told 
how God in marvelous ways had delievered His ser- 
vants. The Prophet then bore his testimony in great 
power to the guards concerning the truth of the Gospel, 
and late at night the prisoners lay down to sleep. After 
a time Joseph whispered to Dan Jones who was lying 
beside him, "Are you afraid to die?" and Brother Jones 
replied, "Has that time come, think you? Engaged 
in such a cause, I do not think that death would have 
many terrors." Then the Prophet whispered, "You 
will yet see Wales and fulfill the mission appointed 
you, before you die." Next morning Brother Jones 
left the prison to learn the cause of a disorder outside 
during the night. Frank Worrel, one of the Carthage 
Greys, said : 

"We have had too much trouble to bring old Joe 
here to let him escape alive, and unless you want to 
die with him, you had better leave before sundown ; 
and you are not a damned bit better than him for tak- 
ing his part, and you'll see that I can prophesy better 
than old Joe, for neither he nor his brother, nor any- 
one else who will remain with them, will see the sun 
set today." 

As Brother Jones went on he learned positively 
that the Carthage Grevs and others of the mob intended 


to kill the prisoners that clay. He hurried to the gov- 
ernor and found that Ford had decided to go to Nau- 
voo, taking the best troops with him and leaving the 
prisoners in the hands of the mob. He would not listen 
to what Brother Jones said, and even refused to allow 
any of the Prophet's friends who were outside the jail 
to go back, nor Apostles Taylor and Richards, who 
were inside, to come out. Brother Jones went away 
and soon returned with Cyrus H. Wheelock and John 
P. Greene. They urged the governor to remember his 
promise and not leave those whom Jie had pledged the 
honor of the state to protect, to be murdered in cold 
blood ; but Ford was too great a coward to disappoint 
the mob. He set out for Nauvoo. 

Perhaps the governor did not know for certain that 
the plot was to kill the prisoners during his absence, 
and yet he knew the danger they were in, for he said in 
his speech to the Saints : 

"A great crime has been done by destroying the 
Expositor press, and placing the city under martial law, 
and a severe atonement must be made, so prepare your 
minds for the emergency." 

This was the afternoon, and as he spoke, a cannon 
in the distance was heard. One of his aids whispered 
something in his ear, and immediately the governor with 
his officers and the troops rode away as though in fear. 
It was probably the cannon fired near Carthage as a 
signal that the mob had been successful in its foul work. 
While at Nauvoo during the day. Ford and his friends 
had gone into the Temple, and some amused themselves 
by breaking the horns off the oxen that held up the 
baptismal font, and the officers were heard to say time 
after time that the Prophet would die that day. 






Y\7 HEN Governor Ford left Carthage on the morn- 
VV mg of the twenty-seventh of June, taking with 
him the friendly troops of Captain Dunn, he disbanded 
ah but the Carthage Greys, and left them to guard the 
prison. Two hundred of the disbanded soldiers, with 
blackened faces came to make the attack. When all 
was ready, the eight men at the door of the jail loaded 
their muskets with blank cartridges and waited. 

The four prisoners, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, 
John Taylor and Willard Richards, spent a very dull, 
gloomy day, seemingly weighed down by the terrible 
fate before them. In. the afternoon, Brother Taylor 
sang this beautiful hymn : 

A poor wayfaring man of grief 

Hath often crossed me on my way, 
Who sued so humbly for relief 

That I could never answer nay. 
I had not power to ask his name; 
Whither he went or whence he came; 
Yet there was something in his eye 
That won* my love, I knew not why. 

Once, when my scanty meal was spread. 

He entered — not a word he spake! 
Just perishing for want of bread, 

I gave him all; he blessed it, brake, 
And ate, but gave me part again; 
Mine was an angel's portion then, . 
For while I fed with eager haste. 
The crust was manna to my taste. 


1 spied him where a fountain burst 

Clear from the rock — his strength was gone, 

The heedless water mocked his thirst, 
He heard it, saw it hurrying on. 

I ran and rais'd the sufFrer up; 

Thrice from the stream he drain'd my cup, 

Dipped and return'd it running o'er; 

I drank, and never thirsted more. 

'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew 

A winter hurricane aloof; 
I heard his voice, abroad, and flew 

To bid him welcome to my roof. 
I warm'd, I cloth'd, I cheered my guest, 
I laid him on my couch to rest: 
Then made the earth my bed, and seem'd 
In Eden's garden while I dream'd. 

Stripp'd, wounded, beaten nigh to death, 
I found him by the highway side; 

I rous'd his pulse, brought back his breath, 
Reviv'd his spirit, and supplied 

Wine, oil, refreshment — he was heal'd; 

I had myself a wound conceal'd; 

But from that hour forgot the smart, 

And peace bound up my broken heart. 

In prison T saw him next — condemn'd 
To meet a traitor's doom, at morn; 

The tide of lying tongues T stetnm'd, 
And honor'd him 'mid shame and scorn. 

My friendship's utmost zeal to try. 

He asked if I for him would die; 

The flesh was weak, mv blood ran chill, 

But the free spirit cried, "I will!" 

Then in a moment to my view, 

The stranger started from disguise; 
The tokens in his hands I knew, 

The Savior stood before mine eyes. 
He spake — and mv poor name he nam'd — 
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed; 
These deeds shall thv memorial be: 
Fear not, thou didst them unto me." 


After this sweet song was ended the Prophet asked 
him to repeat it. He said that he had not the spirit of 
singing, but they urged him and he sang it again. 

Shortly after five o'clock some of the brethren saw 
men with painted faces running around the corner of 
the jail toward the stairs. There was a cry of sur- 
render. Three or four gun shots were heard, and in 
a moment the mob was at the door. The brethren 
placed their bodies against it and held it shut. A pistol 
bullet was fired into the keyhole to break the lock. Hy- 
rum stepped back and a bullet through the door panel 
struck him in the face, and two bullets through the win- 
dow at the same moment tore his flesh. He fell saying : 

"I am a dead man." 

The door was forced open and gun barrels were 
thrust through. Joseph fired three shots into the hall- 
way from a pistol that had been left with him by Broth- 
er Wheelock. Brothers Taylor and Richards with 
heavy walking canes, tried to beat down the guns. The 
muskets belched great flashes of fire into the room, and 
it seemed that in a moment they would all be destroyed. 
John Taylor sprang to the window, but a bullet from 
the door pierced his thigh and he fell on the sill. He 
was slipping out head first when another bullet from 
the outside struck his watch and drove his body back 
into the room. To save himself, he began to crawl 
under the bed, when three other bullets splashed his 
blood upon the walls. 

Joseph saw his brother Hyrum dead on the floor 
and John Taylor apparently dying. Willard Richards 
was still unharmed, and to save him, the Prophet ran 
to the window intending to spring out. While he 
stood for just an instant before making the leap, two 
bullets struck him from behind, and one bullet from the 
mob below. His dying words were : 

"Oh Lord, my God!" 


He smiled and fell to the ground — dead. 

A hatless Missourian with bare legs and arms, ran 
to him and set his body in a sitting position against the 
curb of a well. Colonel Levi Williams ordered four 
men to shoot. They fired their bullets into the Proph- 
et's body, but he was past the power of men to hurt. 
The ruffian who had placed the body against the curb, 
with gleaming knife in his hand rushed to cut off the 



M.ssoun. Suddenly a light trom heaven burst upon 
the scene, he kn.te fell to the ground, and the Mis- 
sourian and the lour men that had shot Joseph were as 
it turned to stone. The mob in terror fled on all sides, 
but \\ flhams called them to take away their four com- 

5rt"off S " y CW these into the wa S° n aild then 

Willard Richards had suffered onlv a slight wound 
in the ear, and after hiding Brother tavlor under an 
old mattress in another cell, he went' out to learn 
whether the Prophet was really dead or not. Though 
he thought the mob would kill him, he determined to 
find out Joseph's fate. He came back and told the 
awful news to Apostle Taylor, and a dull, lonely sick- 
ening pain, more terrible than the pain from his 
wounds, came over that faithful man. Doctor Richards 
prepared the bodies of the Prophet and Patriarch, and 
early next morning, after providing for Brother Tay- 
lor, started for Xauvoo. 

Thousands of weeping Saints met the sorrowful 
procession. The bodies were taken at once to Joseph's 
home and arranged for burial. Apostle Richards and 
Colonel Stephen Markham and others spoke to the 
Saints, telling them that vengeance belonged to God 
and exhorting them to remain at peace. Next morn- 
ing the doors were opened and ten thousand Saint* 
passed by the coffin of the martyrs and looked upon 
their beloved faces. At night the funeral was held, 
but bags of sand were placed in the rough pine boxes 
where the caskets had been, and these were buried. 
At midnight the bodies were carried by ten of the breth- 
ren and were secretly buried under the foundation of 
the Nauvoo House, from which place at a later time 
they were moved and again buried. This secrecy was 



necessary for fear of those who would have robbed 
the graves. 

And this is the life and death of the man who was 
chosen, when the foundations of the world were laid, 
to stand next to Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten, in the 
importance of His work here upon the earth. God took 
him in his youth and trained him in His own school. He 


was a mortal man, but how splendid was his manhood, 
how glorious his mortality ! Like the Master, he died 
young, but like His also were the mighty works he per- 
formed in that life. He died as he had lived, the type 
of highest love. He offered his life for his friends, and 
sealed his testimony with his blood. 

APR 1 ? 1 "" [ 

t n ? : ] 

UUI '/o ura 

r\r « q -«r 

-3-1 ^-H- 

APR 1 P ^f) 








' J , 

t-tb i v a» 


^R 3 1 2005 

* nrrft/ ^MA>2 1 

-*i M/V 

^/ A r .7^0*7 

^ rr n •mum n dim, 

-J M>w 1 1, 2003 

^^ v _n_ 1 _2p3_ 

<* UtC 2 2 2003 


nfr.n^ /1PRH 





Brigham Young University 


3 1197 00682 3766 

Utah Bookbinding Co, SLC, UT. 06 02 2000 64 

W ' ■!!..„■ Eft " § 

„• "U-i. v': "... '!i. 


;h:, Wtj '" 

• ■ 


fMtt ■ :'■ ». .»' 


n' 1 ' '! " I ft 


"ii' »'.- 

,l<r-fM&' I 

it f£.» . .1 1. . , .• n 

, , , ;i , "l li'» 

'i <>.." . 




1 H| "V 

— DM— 1 



.L i 

1 1\